LI E) R.AR.Y OF THE UN IVLRSITY Of ILLINOIS 823 H225ig v.i GLENCAIRN. VOL. I. % GLENCAIRN. BY IZA DUFFUS HARDY, AUTHOR OF " NOT EASILY JEALOUS," " BETWEEN TWO FIRES," &c. &c. " little did my mither ken, The day she cradled me, The lands I was to travel in — Or the death I was to dee ! " Old Ballad. IN THREE VOLUMES. VOL. I. LONDON: HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS, 13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET. 1877. All rights reserved LONDON : FEINTED BY DUNCAN MACDONALD, BLENHEIM HOUSE, BLENHEIM STREET, OXFORD STREET. Ni. 1 % BOOK I. HOMEWARD VOL. I. B GLENCAIRJ^. CHAPTER I. " Some waif washed up with the strays and spars, That ebb-tide shows to the shore and the stars : Weeds from tlie water, grass from a grave, A broken blossom, a ruined rhyme !" Swinburne. rjlHE Boulogne train had sped through -*- the suburbs of Paris, and left the last white- walled villa, the last trim garden, of Paris behind ; the six travellers in one particular compartment of one particular carriage were doing very much as the B 2 4 GLENCAIEN. majority of travellers all tlie length of tlie long train were doing ; that is to say, they had " settled " themselves and their bag- gage, and were mentally taking notes of each other's appearance. Two of these travellers, however, must be excepted from this general statement ; the elderly French couple were taking no notes of anybody or anything, but were composing themselves to sleep; and the attention their fellow- passengers bestowed on them was but brief, as Madame merely presented the appearance of a bundle of shawls and a brown gauze veil, and Monsieur of a tight- ly buttoned coat, a shaven double chin, and a dark grizzled moustache — the rest of his face being hidden in the wide-awake that was slouched down over his eyes to keep off the sun. GLENCAIRN. 5 The remaining four passengers were an unmistakably British family of three — father, mother, and little girl — and a some- what peculiar-looking gentleman at whom the united family were stealing glances at discreet opportunities, and who — at equally decorous intervals and with equally scru- pulous carefulness not to catch their eyes — was returning their attention. Travellers may be divided broadly into three classes — those who utterly ignore the existence of their f ellow- voyagers ; those who regard them as natural enemies, whose very existence is an offence ; and those who look upon them with a moderately friendly curiosity, take some interest in their physiognomical characteristics, enjoy solving the problem of their nationality, and make acquaintance with them readily. 6 GLENCAIEN. The British family belonged to this latter class ; and so — on this occasion, at least, though it might not be his normal con- dition — did the grey-coated, bearded stranger of peculiar aspect. He was not peculiar by reason of his attractions, for he was not handsome at all ; nor was there anything picturesque about him save the abundant waves of hair, dark and curling, which were pushed away from his brow under the black felt wide-awake. His beard was a shade or two lighter than his hair, and he cultivated a somewhat heavy moustache. Any peculiarity in his appearance was partly attributable to the uncommon expression of not very un- common features, an expression at once abstracted and keenly perceptive, gloomy and yet not unsympathetic — partly to GLENCAIRN. 7 something in the large, deep-set eyes, which puzzled strangers at first, until they came to notice that one of those eyes was a light grey, the other a darker hazel. He might have been any age from thirty to forty-five ; he might have belonged to almost any nation ; and as he had not opened his lips, his curious fellow-passengers were somewhat exercised in their minds on the subject of his nationality. The lady had whispered to her husband, " Not English, surely ?" and whether or not the stranger had heard or understood the remark, he had taken no notice of it. The little girl — Katie Craven, a pretty blonde child, gaily and carefully dressed, and evidently her parents' pet and pride — began chattering, asking when they should reach Amiens ; whether there would be at 8 GLENOAIRN. Amiens " a lovely buffet like there was at Macon ;" wliether they should dine at Boulogne, and so on. The solitary silent traveller was looking at the child while she babbled on, and the mother, catching a very tender and rather sad smile slowly softening his face, regarded him sympa- thetically, and wished to address him, but was not sure whether she should venture on her rather uncertain French, or her still more doubtful German. He solved the difficulty by addressing her in a per- fectly pure English accent. "Your little girl is young to travel. She is your eldest ?" '' My only one." " How old ?" - " She is eleven." " An only child !" repeated the gentle- GLENCAIRN. 9 man — " I have an only child a year younger than yours." " And a great pet I dare say she is," observed Mrs. Craven sympathetically, becoming more interested in their fellow- traveller. " I daresay she will be," he replied, smiling, but somewhat coldly. " I have not seen her since she was a baby. — Is it your little girl's first trip abroad ?" he asked, after a pause, as if sociably inclined for the ball of conversation to be kept rolling. *•' Yes ; she is a spoilt pet, and we could not leave her behind." "We have been all over Switzerland, and I walked over the Col de Balme all the way, and mamma had a mule," said the little girl, evidently minded to take her share in the discussion. 10 GLENCAIRN. " Have you also been doing Switzer- land, sir?" inquired Mr. Craven, putting down the '' Indicateur" he had been study- ing, and manifesting that he too was dis- posed that the conversation should not drop. It did not drop, but rolled on smoothly, with occasional breaks and intervals, and now and then shuntings of subject from one line to another, until they reached Amiens. During this period the solitary traveller had learnt the entire history of the family's Swiss tour, from their taking the night express to Geneva to their ascent of the E-igi, and their returning route via Basle and Strasbourg ; and little Katie had exhibited to him her Alpenstock, stamped with the list of names, the point of which she nearly poked into the somno- GLENCAIKX. II leut Frencliman's eye. The family had not learnt so much about the* solitary tra- veller, but what they had learnt had in- terested them, as it appeared that he had come recently from Venice, but, beyond that, from India, China, and, in fact, literally all round the ^Yorld. The Cravens never having been beyond the beaten track of the tourist through Paris and Switzerland, and that only twice in their lives — once on their wedding tour, and once again now — were naturally interested in this traveller who had travelled so far. At Amiens there was the usual rush made for the buffet ; a tide of passengers, chiefly male, setting towards the table where the hot soui^ was ladled out ; an- other tide, chiefly female, flowing along the counter, where fruits, and cakes, and 12 GLENCAIEN. pates were set f ortli in tempting array ; a general eddy of all ages, classes, and sexes around the marble slab sacred to wines and liqueurs ; a back-wave of hurried or timorous travellers sweeping back, with their hands full of brioches, and flacons, and little baskets of fruit, towards the platform, in great haste lest the train should go off without them ; then, towards the last minute, a general stampede for the train, and much anxiety in everybody's mind to discover their own carriage, where their own wraps and umbrellas and small baggage had been left. The Cravens be- stowed themselves safely, and then began to look out for their new acquaintance, who did not make his appearance till the very last moment, and only just as the guard came along, banging the doors, and GLENCAIEN. 13 Mrs. Craven cried out excitedly, " Here ! here ! make baste !" lie stepped coolly up into the carriage. The whole quartette appeared to be rather more than less sociably inclined after their hasty pretence of a luncheon — a meal which was, however, still in pro- gress of demolition, its second course not having been disposed of in the hurry of the buffet. The little girl had her hands full of apricots ; Mrs. Craven was making her way leisurely, and w^ith an appetite refreshingly good to see, through the con- tents of a bag of sweet cakes ; Madame in the corner, still looking half asleep, held a huge ham sandwich drowsily in one hand ; Mr. Craven, with a prudent eye for the coming hour, had got a small flask of " fine champagne cognac." 14 GLENCAIRN. " For the boat," as lie explained, with a confidential nod. " You are going to cross, I suppose ?" lie added. " Yes," replied the stranger, " I am going to London, to see my little girl. Your child reminds me of her. She has fair hair — I think." He added the last two words with rather a gloomy air, and kind-hearted Mrs. Craven instantly fell to reflecting how sad it would be if she had never seen her little Katie since she had been a baby ! Suppose she did not even know the shade of Katie's hair ! Yet such separations were ; parents and children were sometimes parted ; and thinking of these things, she smoothed out the flaxen tresses that were so carefully crimped and waved over her darling's shoulders, and, looking at the stranger, GLENCAIRN. 15 wondered whether his child had a mother living. In order to make room for little Kate to sit by the window, the gentleman moved to one side, took a valise that stood beside him on his knee, and leaned his crossed arms upon it. " Won't you put that up in the netting? — isn't it heavy ?" asked Mr. Craven. "No — it's a good elbow-cushion," the other replied, smiling in his usual way — a slight smile, almost the shadow of a smile, but pleasant and gentle withal. " You are a compatriot of my wife's, I see," observed Mr. Craven, sociably, evi- dently settling himself for a pleasant gos- sip to beguile the time. " A compatriot ? — how ?" " My wife was a Scotch lassie by birth, 16 GLENGAIEN. and that (your name, I presume ?) is a Scotcli name," replied Mr. Craven, pointing to the label tied on to the valise, which bore the words : " Glencaim, Paris a Londres." " I may be Scotch for aught I know," the gentleman replied ; " but as I never to my own knowledge had any parents, I am uncertain upon the point of my nation- ality." Mr. and Mrs. Craven did not understand this at all. They said with a puzzled air, "Yes?" and "Indeed?" and then Mrs. Craven observed in an undecided, half- questioning way, "Left an orphan very young, I sup- pose ?" " Yes ; but at what age I can't exactly OLENCAIEN. 17 tell. I have the doubtful blessing of not knowing my own birthday." This puzzled Mr. and Mrs. Craven still more. They looked bewildered and per- plexed ; and Mr. Glencairn smiled with a half-amused air. " Well, I'll tell you how it was," he said, narratively, with an unusual expansion of confidence. " It's a curious story, too. Amongst the hundreds of wrecks that make no sensation, that are just briefly chronicled and forgotten, the ship Glen- cahii was wrecked in the South Atlantic — years ago. Very few remember it now. The people took to the boats, but only one boat was saved. In that boat there were some sailors, a woman and a child. The woman died; so did two of the sailors. Oddly enough, while strong men died, the VOL. I. c 18 GLENCAIRN. child lived. I was that child. None of the survivors seem to have known the woman's name, and I was too young to tell them — a mere baby. I suppose she was my mother ; but even that isn't cer- tain. The only thing certain is that I and three sailors lived." " Good gracious !" exclaimed Mrs. Craven, as if her breath was fairly taken away. " A most remarkable thing," said her husband, appearing deeply interested ; while Kate was staring at the narrator with wide-open blue eyes, as if he were the hero of a fairy-tale. "But did you never know anything of your father, then ?" asked the lady. " Nothing; except that, whoever he was, he was not in that boat." " And is there no clue to your name or parentage at all?" GLENCAIRX. 19 "No. People saved from shipwreck by niglit, you know, don't always have pocket-books or letters about tliem. I daresay my mother — she who was probably my mother, that is — would have left in- structions about me if she had thought I should be saved, and if she had been Eng- lish. But she was a foreign woman alone among English sailors ; and if she had any friends they were in the other boats, which were never heard of more. So I was launched in life with no name, no parents, no country. It is not a cheerful begin- ning." " How dreadful ! — how very sad !" said Mrs. Craven. " You took the name of the ship, then?" said her husband. " Yes. They used to call me Tommy c 2 20 CtLenoaien. Glencairn — but I didn't hold much to the Tommy. Glencairn is the name I have taken, after the ship that is the only parent I ever could trace. Glencairn is the name I am always known and addressed by — though in business letters I sign the initial T. That's the story of my name." "A most interesting story," said the sympathetic lady. Mr. Craven was silent, trying to find flaws in the consistency of the anecdote, in which he did not place quite such im- plicit faith as his wife. Mr. Glencairn, probably reading the tenor of his neigh- bour's thoughts, smiled quietly to himself. However the acquaintance progressed favourably and rapidly; and that night, when they had arrived at their home (having parted from their fellow-traveller GLEN CAIRN. 21 with an exchange of cards and addresses, and mutual promises to call and renew the acquaintance), Mr. Craven kept continually being struck by new ideas as to questions lie might have put, and suggestions he might have made, with a view to eliciting the exact amount of truth in Glencairn's story. " I wish I'd asked him the name of the captain of the ship, and whether they couldn't have got a list of the passengers at Lloyd's," said Mr. Craven, meditatively, being a man who was always interested in his neighbour's affairs. "Perhaps it was a foreign ship," sug- gested his wife, who was determined to believe every word of the story. Meanwhile Glencairn, who had related only the simple truth, unexaggerated and 22 GLENCAIEN. unembellislied, went on his way to the ten- years-old daughter (whom, since she had been a toddling white-frocked, blue-eyed baby of little more than a year old, he had never seen), the last look he had fixed on whose baby face he could never bear to think of, linked as it was with the bitterest memory of his life. She had been as a dream to him for years past — a dream that he was going now to realise. It could scarcely be said that he loved her, for she was in his mind a vague and changing vision, that some- times looked at him with her mother's eyes, and sometimes seemed a fair and feminine image of himself. He had no portrait of her, no lock of hair. The letters in a round and childish hand that had reached him occasionally at the other GLENCAIKX. 23 side of the world, few and far between as they were, were yet the only tangible proofs of her existence. He hastened, and yet would have deferred the moment of meet- ing. He who had loved few people, and been loved by few, whose life had been cursed by what should have been life's blessing, wondered, "Will the child love me?" 24 CHAPTER II. " O little souls ! as pure and white And crystalline as rays of light, Direct from Heaven, their source divine Refracted through the mist of years, How red my setting sun appears ! How lurid looks this soul of mine !" Longfellow. TN a neighbourhood nearer to Regent's -*- Park than to the City, but equally out of sight of the Park's green grass and foliage and the City's smoke and chimney- tops— in a house exactly like the majority of London houses ''all of a row"— in a drawing-room furnished by line and rule exactly as the Furniture Catalogues GLENCAIRN. 25 and the various volumes of Advice to Young Housekeepers recommend, were seated a little girl, an old gentleman, and four old ladies. The four ladies miglit be all freely classed together under the above adjec- tive ; but in truth two of them were of that uncertain age which in a fashionable lady in a fashionable grande toilette would probably be called "a little past the prime," yet which in these maiden sisters with their Quaker-coloured dresses and cappy head-dresses, was generally and briefly set down as " old." The other two, the thin widow and the portly matron, were older ; and the gentleman decidedly oldest ; he was eighty-one and had not a visible tooth in his head. The child, a prett}' little girl of ten years 26 GLENCAIEN. old, looked all the more childish, and her companions all the older, from the contrast between their Winter and her Spring. She was Luli Glen cairn ; the two maiden ladies, whom she called " Aunt," were her mother's aunts, Miss Christiana and Miss Priscilla Potter. These ladies, their income being too small and their house being too large for them, added to the former and filled up the latter by receiving as resident guests the widow lady, Mrs. Boyd, and the old couple, Mr. and Mrs. Foster, who contributed to the household funds an equivalent for the Misses Potters' hospitality and " the comforts of a refined home," as the adver- tisement which in the original instance had brought all these congenial spirits toge- ther, had set forth. GLENCAIKN. 27 It was not a boarding-house, not at all, as Mrs. Boyd was wont to say emphati- cally, and was strictly select. No wolves had ever prowled around that fold; no black sheep had ever obtained a moment's admittance. There was the one little pet white lamb in the fold, who was guarded and treasured with zealous care. But the day and the hour — or, to be strictly literal, the evening and the hour — had come when this little lamb was to be claimed by one whom decisive Miss Christiana regarded as a very black sheep, and timid Miss Priscilla looked upon with alarm as a probable wolf. Still they were both careful to conceal from Lull their doubts on the subject of her father, hiding them under a prudent appearance of confidence in the mutual happiness 2S GLENCAIEN. of parent and cliild in their re-union. Glencairn liad written to say lie would be with them that evening. There had been business and bustle in the house all day preparing a room for his reception. There might be doubt and reluctance in the minds of the mistresses of the fold as to the advent of the lupine intruder, but board and bed and open gates awaited him, and the lamb was decked for the sa- crifice, ready to be yielded to his claws. Luli, arrayed in her prettiest white muslin, with streaming blue sash and blue ribands in her fair hair, sat with the rest of the social circle in the drawing-room, bolt upright in her chair, never turning a leaf of the book of pictures before her, listening for the bell, and looking every now and then at the door. GLENGATEX. 29 " She's quite excited at the thought o£ seeing her papa," observed Mrs. Foster in the good-natured comfortable way in which so many portly old ladies speak. " Haven't you ever seen your papa, my dear?" inquired old Mr. Foster, who did not know, or did not remember what he had been told about Luli's family history. " No ; she was not a year and a half old when her mamma died and her papa went away," replied Miss Christiana, who gener- ally took it upon herself to answer for Luli. " Ah, poor little dear — sad ! worse than an orphan!" observed Mrs. Boyd, who knew the whole story, wagging her head gravely. Miss Priscilla glanced uncom- fortably at Luli. Miss Christiana observed with severity. 30 GLEXCAIEN. "Not at all; she's much better off than any poor orphan, especially now that her papa's coming back." " It's always been like having no papa," said Luli, putting in a word on her own account, in a pretty little voice as soft and «weet as her pretty innocent eyes. " But you shouldn't get excited about it; you've made yourself look quite pale," said Miss Christiana reprovingly; whereat Luli, who was shy and sensitive, blushed rosy-red and looked almost ready to cry, and, burying herself in her picture-book, muttered in an injured and reproachful tone, " I'm not excited, Aunt Chrissy." " Bless her heart ! we don't have our papas come home every day," said gentle Miss Priscilla cheerfully. The poor lady's GLENCMRN. 31 clieerfulness that evening was a really heroic effort, for she was miserable at the thought of parting from her pet lamb, especially of entrusting her to the tender mercies of one whom she deemed, not unreasonably, to be well proven of the lupine tribe, and possibly lacking even in the proverbial covering of fleece. A cab was heard to stop at the door, and a bell rang. Luli started up from her chair and stood listening. Then there was the sound of the hall-door opening and foot- steps in the hall ; and Luli sprang towards the door, but before she reached it she stopped, shy, nervous, and all trembling with excitement, and looked appealingly towards her aunts. " I suppose it is your papa at last," said Miss Christiana, rising up with some 32 GLENCAIEN. stateliness and shaking ont her skirts leisurely. "Eun and meet papa, Luli! you're very glad, you know," said Miss Priscilla flur- riedly, thus sending the child on before as a sort of avant-courrier to break the ice. Glencairn, standing in the hall in his dark slouched hat and grey overcoat, looking in his travelling attire a much bigger man than he really was, and the cabman, putting a large portmanteau down with a thump on the floor, saw a fairy-like childish figure all in white flutter down the stairs lightly as a bird ; and Luli and her father were face to face for the first time in Lull's recollection. The meeting was — like most other meet- ings — not quite what either party had ex- pected or hoped for. Lull's anticipations GLENCAIEX. 33 had been childishly vague, but she had somehow expected something more roman- tic and exciting than the actual fact proved ; Avhile to him, perhaps this first sudden sis^ht of the child so like her mother, was productive of more pain than joy. He saw before him, in that first moment, not so much a promise of the future as a ghost of the past. Luli was pale and nervous as she asked in a small shy voice, " Are you papa ?" and he replied to her in a subdued tone that did not convey to her immature percep- tions any vivid idea of joy or emotion. Then he stooped and kissed her quietly, and then Miss Christiana sailing downstairs, pronounced in her distinct voice and with a strictly correct accent of courteous wel- come, VOL. I. D 34 GLENCAIRN. " How do you do, Mr. Glencairn ?" And Miss Priscilla following, in her flurry and her anxiety to atone for any formality in her sister's manner, greeted him with almost unnatural amiability, italicising the warmest words of her wel- come. " I hope you had a pleasant journey — very glad to see you — come in." Glencairn did not expend many words in this meeting, and the sisters Potter were not especially favourably impressed with him. But in the parlour, whither he was presently ushered, and where he straightway installed himself in the most comfortable arm-chair, while Miss Chris- tiana recited the remarks and inquiries she deemed appropriate to the occasion, Miss Priscilla noticed that he was not GLENCAIEN. OO hearing a word lier sister said, but gazing at little Luli. "Well grown of her age, isn't she?" said Miss Priscilla, that being the first thing that occurred to her to say, although iu point of fact Luli was not much developed for her years. He nodded carelessly to the sisters, and looking at Luli, smiled, and his face gradually softened into a sin- gularly tender and yearning expression. Luli, meeting that look, drew slowly closer to him. He did not speak, but the child came nearer and nearer, drawn by an all- powerful influence. She put her little hand out shyly and laid it on his, and he lifted her into his arms. " Leave us a little while, please," he said, bending his face over her golden curls, and not casting a glance towards d2 36 GLENCAIRN. the sister aunts, who withdrew, Miss Chris- tiana somewhat dignified and haughty under the dismissal, Miss Priscilla forgiv- ing the request for the naturalness of the feeling that prompted it. When they returned to the parlour — and they had some difficulty in determin- ing the exact period of absence which should be long enough for delicacy and discretion, and brief enough to accord with the duties of hospitality — they found Luli still seated on her father's knee, with her face buried in the collar of his coat. And when Luli was addressed, she only lifted up tear-stained eyes, red cheeks, and tumbled curls for a minute, while she asserted resolutely, " I won't leave papa !" and then nestled her head down again, and clasped her small arms closely round his GLEXCAIEX. 37 neck, as if apprehensive of being carried away from him by main force. " But, my dear, your papa requires some refreshment after his long journey. I have ordered a tray to be brought up." " Bring it here, and Luli shall have some supper with me," said Glencairn, who, as Miss Christiana noticed from the first, never appeared to think it possible that a request of his should be other than promptly complied with. " We'll break bread together, little one," he added, and the bearded lips were for a moment buried in the child's soft fair curls. So a tray of supper was brought, and Glencairn made a rather hasty meal, after travellers' wont, as if he had been standing at a buffet ; and talked meanwhile about his travels, and related an anecdote or 38 GLENCATKN. two. Luli, curled up on the elbow of his chair like a soft white kitten, listened adoringly ; Miss Christiana began to un- bend a little, and Miss Priscilla to relent into regarding her nephew-in-law as a thoroughly improved and reformed cha- racter. For Glencairn's manner was most pleasant and charming when he chose it should be so. No one could make himself more agreeable than he when he had a mind thereto. His coldness melted into gentleness ; his brusquerie softened into a frank bright animation. The reticent, quiet manner that had repelled them at first had vanish- ed like a veil blown away; but, as they were not many days in learning, it was a veil that now and again would suddenly fall over him, and wrap him in an ab- GLENCAIEN. 39 stracted and abruptly-expressed reserve. After supper, the careful aunts wanted to take Lull away to bed, but Lull objected strongly, and her father sided with her. " Let her stay with me awhile — it is our first evening," he said, pleasantly and lightly, but still as if his light requests were law. So they left her with him, and went up to join their select circle of guests in the drawing-room, and indulge in a good gossip about Glencairn and his affairs, past, present, and future, with Mr. and Mrs. Foster, who were mildly interested, who had heard the story before and forgotten it, and Mrs. Boyd, whose memory on the subject of others' sins was perfectly clear, who knew all about it and was mournfully inquisitive, insisted on speaking of Glen- 40 GLENCAIEN. cairn in a tone of the pious melanclioly suitable to unfallen virtue when it speaks of "wanderers and prodigals, and regarded the occasion as a suitable one for a homily on reclaiming the lost sheep. Presently Miss Christiana remarked decisively, " It is full time the child was in bed." All the old people, agreeing, arose to light their candles; and while old Mr. Foster was tottering leisurely upstairs to his room, and old Mrs. Boyd pouring a con- fidential question into Miss Christiana's ear, Miss Priscilla descended to the parlour to summon Luli. Glencairn was still sitting in the arm- chair; Luli was fast asleep in his arms, her rufiled curls hanging over his shoulder, her face half hidden, and only a glimpse of her pretty parted lips and fair, flushed cheek to be seen. GLENCAIRX. 41 Miss Priscilla advanced very quietly. Glen cairn looked up at lier from the golden bead that lay on his breast, and smiled with a half sad, brooding tenderness that melted Miss Priscilla's heart, and inclined her to kill the fatted calf. They were quite silent for a few moments, both intent upon the tired child sleeping in the pure and perfect peacefulness that only childhood knows, both anxious not to wake her, both probably stirred at heart by some thoughts springing from the same source. Then he said, in a low voice, " You have not brought her up to hate me, then ?" "We knew our duty better. You are her father," said the aunt, and her look was kinder than her words. " She is like " he began softly, and left the sentence unfinished. 42 GLENCAIEN. " She is her living image," said Miss Priscilla. " Too like !" he murmured, and his brow clouded with a deep sadness. Miss Priscilla stepped nearer, and the look of womanly sympathy on her kind old faded face, drew him on to utter his thought to her. " Too tender a flower !"he said. " But trust her in my care. As I deal with her, may God so deal with me !" 43 CHAPTER III. " When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am ; nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice. One whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe !" Othello. " T REALLY think lie is very mucli *- improved. People do reform, you know," said Miss Priscilla Potter, in a mild, suggestive voice. " I think he'll be a good father to Luli." " Maybe. Bad husbands do make good fathers sometimes," responded her sister. 44 GLENCAIRN. '' He certainly has a heart," Miss Pris- cilla continued, in a puzzled, reflective way. "I can't make out how ever he could " The sentence, left unfinished as it was, might have been perplexing to a stranger, but Miss Christiana understood the allusion, and replied promptly, " Men are bad. Prissy. That's the only way of accounting for it." " I trust and hope that he is treading a better path now," said the gentler sister. "I don't suppose he can be always run- ning away with actresses, certainly. I think it's very probable he won't do it again. Once turned out to be enough," replied the other, with biting emphasis. Miss Priscilla sighed, shook her head, and then observed, " He seems very fond of Luli." GLENCAIRX. 4o " He was very fond of Laura, if I recol- lect right," answered Miss Cliristiana, " iu their honeymoon ! — yes, and for a long time after it. Mind, I think you are quite right so far, Prissy — that he is inclined to be fond of Luli, and kind to her. I do him the justice to think he sincerely re- pented, and that he recognises the doubly sacred dut}^ which binds him to Laura's chHd." " There shall be more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," murmured Miss Priscilla, whose heart had quite melted towards Glencairn since she had heard that promise of his so solemnly spoken over the sleeping child. " The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked," responded Miss Christiana. " You must remember. Prissy, how much it took 46 GLENCAIEN. to turn his heart. Althougli he may have reformed now, I am convinced in my own mind that he never would have repented if it had not been for the shock which Laura's death gave him," she said, with positive emphasis, adding oratorically, as if giving out a hymn, "Out of evil cometh good. And if our poor Laura's death brought a sinner to repentance, she did not die in vain." Miss Christiana, clearer-sighted and just- er, if less merciful than her sister, was pro- bably right in doubting whether Glencairn would ever have "repented" had it not been for the shock and the sorrow caused him by his wife's death. She might have gone further, and doubted whether " re- pentance," properly so called, could ever have any place in Glencairn's nature at all. GLENC.VIKN. 47 He had known the suffering of bitter re- morse ; but it is questionable whether the feeling which alone the sisters would have regarded as true "repentance" had ever filled his heart. He had been agonized, defiant, embittered, miserable, but never humbled. He had rebelled against Fate, cursed Fate, cm'sed himself — but never knelt for prayer or pardon. A fatalist and a heathen by nature, a fine pagan spoilt by being born in a Christian age, for all his sins he blamed his destiny, and on that destiny sullenly resented the suffering he bore in the external patience of a Stoic. This child of the shipwreck, who knew no other parent, had led a strange and chequered life, which was probably rather the effect than the cause of his peculiar and wayward disposition. He had been at 48 GLENCAIEN. first taken charge of by the wife of one of the sailors who had escaped the wreck, an American, whose house was in a little villao^e on the North Atlantic coast. She died, and the sailor brought him to Eng- land, where friends of the captain of the lost vessel, taking an interest in the forlorn child, put him, as soon as he was old enough, to a good school. Glencairn stayed there awhile, but was not popular with his companions ; he was unruly, sul- len, and wilful, and one day, in a fit of passion, he drew a clasp-knife upon a schoolfellow, followed up his misdeeds by threatening to stab the schoolmaster him- self, and, obstinately refusing to apologise, was naturally, for the sake of law and order, expelled. He then ran away to sea, and worked GLENCAIKX. 49 bis way to Madeira aud tlie Cape of Good Hope. There he went up the country into the interior, led a rough and roving life for a time, and then fortune suddenly turned and smiled upon him. He made money by a stroke of luck in the diamond diggings; that money doubled, trebled itself, and he resolved to return to Eng- land. On the voyage he fell in love at first sight with Laura Graham, an orphan girl in mourning, who had come out with her parents, and ha^dng lost both father and mother, was on her way back to England, to find a home with her nearest relatives, her mother's sisters, the Misses Potter be- fore alluded to. She arrived in England duly, went to her aunts' house as Glen- VOL. r. E 50 GLENCAIRN. cairn's betrothed, and left there in a month as his wife. Laura was one of those women to whom to " love wisely " is impossible. Where they love, they '' love too well." She did not love Glencairn at all too well for his comfort, but, as things unfortunately turned out, a great deal too well for her own peace. It is not too much to say of Laura Glencairn that she was a perfect woman and a perfect wife. Glencairn had many rough, unpolished ways, was strange and fitful in his moods, and had a strong ele- ment of " the untutored savage " in his nature, which his wandering life had not tended to ameliorate. But he loved Laura, had loved her from the hour when he saw her first in her pure, modest maiden beauty, GLENCAIRN. 51 sad aud pale in licr mourning, with the rough sea winds tangling her golden hair. She came upon liiin like a vision ; she seemed to him a creature of another world. He loved her with the romantic passion of a first love ; and she in her turn simply adored him. Her patience and forbearance with him were limitless ; she merged her own wishes, annihilated her own nature in his. Love taught this inexperienced, gen- tle girl all its marvellous keenness of per- ception, its wondrous intuitions. Glencairn had taken her, a sorrowful, lonely, penni- less orphan, and had given her love and happiness, a beautiful home, and what to her seemed inexhaustible wealth. The advantage practically seemed all on her side ; but she gave hini the love that is more precious than fine gold, that a woman can E 2 62 GLENCAIEX. give but once, and tliat a man is blest if he once receives. There came an evil hour, which threw Glencairn across the path of the woman who marred his life. He was a creature of passion and impulse, unschooled, un- disciplined, principle and duty only known to him by name, shrewd in some kinds of business, understanding something of men, but absolutely nothing of women, fresh from a rough, roving life, and half a savage still in the simplicity with which he fol- lowed " The good old rule, the simple plan, That they should take who have the power, And they should keep who can.'' Untutored as a wild nature of the prairie and the plain, in his knowledge of the world and of woman, he fell an easy victim GLEXCAIRN. 53 to tlie snare. As suddenly and absolutely as lie had yielded to the romance of a first pure love for a pure and noble woman, he fell under the spell of a fatal passion for one of the Dalilahs of modern days. Her victory was complete, and she knew it ; and he was rich at that time. It followed that he left Laura and her child, and went oif with his new love to Italy. In some explanation of a wrong that was too cruel to be palliated, let it be remem- bered that he comprehended no more of a true woman's nature than of an extinct lano^uafre, and he had no idea that his leaving Laura would break her heart. He had taken care to arrange that she should have plenty of money in her possession, and the power of drawing on his bankers for more. She had her child. She was 54 GLENCAI.RN. 1 near lier motlier's sisters, who could advise ] and care for her. Leaving her under such ; circumstances did not seem to him to be desertion. He did not realize with what force the blow he was inflicting would fall. But Laura sank mortally stricken be- neath the shock. No spirit of wrath, of indignation, of outraged love and wounded pride, arose to sting her into resistance of the sorrow that killed her. Her weak and delicate physical frame broke down under the strength of her anguish. She was never heard to utter a word of blame or anger against him, but shrank away from the subject of his sin as from the touch of ; a burning iron. She only knew that from \ the paradise of his love she awoke to find ; herself deserted and alone, and from that i hour she failed and faded away. GLENCAIEX. 55 'When it was evidout that she was dying, they made searching inquiries for Glencairn, advertised, wrote or telegraphed to every authority likely to be of assistance in finding him. The news of Laura's dan- ger reached him at last, but not before he had discovered the utter worthlessness of the woman for whom he had deserted her. He had been a dupe ; he knew himself now to have been befooled and deceived, and knew that his true wife lay near to death. As fast as the power of steam could carry him, he hastened to Laura's side. He was too late for his presence to revive her broken strength, too late to call her back to life and love, but not too late to listen to her last faintly-whispered words, to see a smile of more than earthly peace and joy on her face before she died. 56 GLENCAIEN. The wages of sin were paid iiim. Her funeral was barely over wlien he fled away to the other side of the world. In gloom and bitterness of spirit he made haste to put the ocean between him and England, leaving his little Luli in the care of his lost wife's relatives. 'Now, returned after his ten years of wanderings (which had not proved unpro- fitable), he resolved never to be parted ao^ain from the child who was the livino- miniature of the wife he had mourned, and to render the life of this child of his and Laura's as happy as mortal power could make it. Glencairn had made innumerable ac- quaintances in the course of his world-wide wanderings, but he had not many friends, especially in England. He had almost lost OLEXCATRN. 57 si<:^lit of the few of his school-fellows whom he had liked ; with the majority he had not been on good terms ; and he had quite lost sight of that family of the lost Captain Burnett who had partly educated him. All these early associations had drifted away, and the places where they had lived knew them no more. For Luli's sake and her future interests, as much as for his own, he now looked up all the friends he could muster ; and, not being afflicted with many scruples as to the strict etiquette of accept- ing casual invitations, he one day took Lull out dressed iu her best, and went to call on liis fellow-travellers from Paris, ]\Ir. and Mrs. Craven. They received him cordiall}', glad that the acquaintance should bo renewed. They had rather taken a fancy to Glencairn 58 GLENCAIEN. from the first, and tliey were delighted with pretty, well-mannered, soft-voiced Luli, who they decided at once would make a sweet companion for Katie. Mr. and Mrs. Craven were a couple overflowing with good-nature and sympa- thy and interest in their neighbours' affairs, surrounded by a somewhat common-place circle of friends, and delighting in any- thing new and out of the way. Glen- cairn was just what pleased them ; and the fact that he was evidently "a man with a story " — indeed, probably a man with more than one story — was a cause of much pleasant interest to Mrs. Craven, who was fond of novels and of poetry of an elementary kind. He afforded them a delightful subject of speculation and con- jecture ; and he could, when he was in the GLENCAIKN. 69' mood, entertain them with " travellers' tales " of thrilling interest. They liked him, and he knew he was liked. Thus it happened that the casual meeting sowed the seed of an enduring intimacy, which one day bore its fruit. It seemed to Glencairn that, during his absence, all his old friends had been scat- tered to the four winds of heaven. He inquired after one and another, and all were " dead," or " abroad," or " married," or "lost sight of." In the course of one of the earliest of these conversations after his return. Miss Christiana Potter observed, *' "We must show Mr. Glencairn," (she never dropped the 3fr.) " that pretty sketch Duke Mayburne made of Luli and the kitten. We are going to have it framed some day." 60 GLENCAIEN. "Duke Mayburne? What, Tom May- burn e's boy ?" said Glencairn. " Yes. Mr. Mayburne's dead, you know ; and Mrs. Mayburne and Duke have gone to live with his brother — he's a Manchester cotton-merchant ; he wants to bring Duke up to the business, and by way of attaining that end he has sent the boy up to his partner's office in London, where of course he has got his head stuffed full of artr " I shouldn't have thouQ-ht a London ■cotton-merchant's office was the place for Art," interposed Glencairn. " But London is the place," responded Miss Potter, who did not like to be dis- agreed with. "Galleries and museums, and statues ; and clubs and latchkeys and what he calls artistic society, for a boy who GLEXCAIIIX. Gl ought to be iu the schoolroom ! — not but what he is a nice young fellow." "And he's been jDainting Lull's por- trait, has lie ? "Where is it ?" " Prissy, call Lull to bring it. It's a life-size picture," said Miss Christiana, " and very pretty we think it is." Miss Priscilla went out of the room on tlie errand requested. Presently Lull's flying feet were heard upon the stairs, and she burst into the room with a large water-colour sketch in her arms, which work of art she proceeded to hold up ad- miringly as near her father's eyes as she could reach. " See ! isn't it nice ? isn't the kitten lovely ? It's grown bigger now — the kitten has — but that's exactly what it used to be a month or two asfo. I had tied a -62 GLEN CAIRN. red ribbon round its neck, but Duke would paint the ribbon blue." Luli allowed her father a moment's silence to admire the sketch, and then pur- sued, pulling him down into a chair and climbing on his knee, "And Duke has drawn me a whole sheet of comic characters for my scrap-book. And, papa," more confidentially, and glancing round to see that Aunt Chrissy and Aunt Prissy were safe in the ad- joining room, " he has made a picture of old Mr. and Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Boyd in his book, and wrote a verse underneath it ; but he wouldn't give it to me. Duke is so clever — he is nearly eighteen, you know, and, as he says, that's old enough to know his own mind ; and he wants to be an artist. Don't you think, papa, people CLENCAIRN. 63 ought to be what they like, and what they can do best ?" "Where there's a will, there's a way. AVhat people imnt to be, they luill be," pro- nounced Glencairn. " Duke will be a great artist then," said Luli with evident satisfaction and perfect confidence. " And what do you want to be, Luli ?" asked her father. "Why, — well, but a woman can't be anything, can she?" doubtfully inquired Luli, who was not an infant genius, and who had no idea whatever that the day of Woman's Rights was dawning. " I think," she added gravely, after a few moments' puzzled reflection, having run through the limited choice of feminine careers in her small mind, " that I should like best to be a columbine." 64 GLEXCAIRX, " A what ?" inquired her father, who, not being an habitue of Christmas pantomimes, was not quick at catching the idea. " A columbine, you know — to fly on in the transformation-scene, and having no- thing to do but wear lovely fairy-dresses and dance. Don't you think a columbine must be one of the happiest creatures in the world ?" Glencairn laughed ; but he made no re- mark, told her nothing calculated to dis- perse the illusion. She would grow out of all her illusions fast enough, he considered ; let her remain a child in childish dreams and ignorance as long as it was possible. He would fain have kept this bud always folded, with . the fresh dew of ignorant innocence ever upon it. The dew would exhale away, and the folded petals open to GLENCiURN. 65 the fierce sun and the rough winds soon enough. Looking in her childish eyes and remembering his own stormy youth, his heart filled with an unuttered prayer that those opening petals might unfold slowly, that the sun of passion might rise late for her, shine on her only faintly from afar, and the rough winds of the world deal softly with the blossom he deemed so delicate and frail. VOL. I. 66 CHAPTER IV. " In men whom men condemn as ill, I find so much of goodness still ; In men whom men pronounce divine, I find so much of sin and blot, I hesitate to draw a line Between the two, where God has not." Joaquin Miller. /^NE day, wlien Glencairn was lounging in the parlour, wMcli was generally held sacred to him (for he did not greatly affect the company of the " assembly of ancients," in which terms he habitually spoke of the drawing-room where the resi- dent guests did congregate), the door was pushed open, and the talented portrayer GLENCAIRX. 67 of the tabby kitten, Duke Maj^burne, who had brought a present for Luli, in the shape of a juvenile member of the canine species, walked in sans ceremonie. Glencairn had not seen Duke Mayburne, or, at least, had only seen him as a child many years before ; but he would have recognised him at once by the descriptions he had heard, even if the white terrier tucked away under the young fellow's arm had not identified him, for Luli had con- fided with hiojh deliofht to her father that she was to have this canine present. Glencairn had an eye for beauty of all kinds, male and female, life and still life, and he looked at the visitor approvingly, as he greeted him by name, and bade him come in. Duke Mayburne was indeed an almost perfect type of masculine beauty f2 68 GLENOAIRN. and youth. He was quite a boy, and boy- ish-looking still — tall and slight, with a figure that would probably develop and improve, and a face in which no improve- ment seemed possible, so singularly hand- some and attractive it was. He had hair of a warm dark chestnut, curling in rich and vigorous rings ; eyes large and bright and grey ; a complexion neither fair nor brown, but of a clear healthy olive pale- ness; and features that were, from the broad brow of square outline to the mas- sively moulded jaw and chin, thoroughly masculine in their strength and firmness, but with a delicate clearness of outline that endowed them with an absolute beauty rare in manhood, and in middle-aged man- hood so rare that one might doubt whether Duke Mayburne's handsome face would " wear well." GLENCAIKN. 69 As he stood tliere, with a frabk, boyish, half-embarrassed smile, responding to Glencairn's greeting, with his cap in one hand, and the white, pink-eyed, jet-nosed terrier tucked away snugly under his other arm, Glencairn regarded him with a steady, half-surjDrised, approving look ; but no vision beyond the passing hour crossed his mind, and no shadow fell between those two as first they stood face to face. " Tenfold handsomer than his father ever was," thought Glencairn. " I've brought Luli a pup, sir," said Duke, somewhat awkwardly, thinking to himself — "What is there so odd about Luli's father's eyes ?" "When he came to take a nearer view, he noticed at once the peculiarity of Glen- cairn's eyes — a peculiarity which its object 70 GLENOAIEN. never attempted to conceal by side -looks or downcast glances, yet which often, as on this occasion, produced on strangers an impression rather curious than unfavour- able; Before they had time to exchange more than a few words about the pup, whom Duke deposited on the hearthrug and commanded to " beg," which the pup was too shy and startled to do, Luli appeared upon the scene with a small scream of delight, flew at Duke, shook hands with him in a violent hurry with her eyes fixed on the white dog, and forthwith fell on her knees beside the animal, seized it by both fore- paws, called it fifty pet-names in a breath, and then found leisure to look up at the donor of this precious gift, and say with a delighted smile, GLENCAIRN. 71 " Oh, thank you — thank you ! you are good, and I do like you; and I will love my darling doggie so." Which assurance was unluckily lost on the dog, who was looking alarmed at these violent demon- strations, and seeming not to have a single wag in his drooping tail. Duke Mayburne was not a mere barber's block — handsome, and nothing else but handsome ; yet it must be admitted that he had not very much to say for himself that day. He was slightly shy of older men unless they were artists, in which case admiration and interest outweighed shyness; and as Luli only carried on a one-sided conversa- tion with the dog, and Glencairn looked on silently with his odd attentive piercing eyes (which Duke somehow felt following him even when he did not meet them), the 72 GLENCAIEN. young man was not quite capable of start- ing a conversation on his own account. However, presently Glencairn warmed up, and began to ask questions and make himself agreeable; then Duke responded freely ; and Luli, sinking into silence, sat hugging the pup, who, being by this time convinced that no harm was intended him, licked her hand gratefully, while her father inquired after various members of the Mayburne family, manifested a "friend of the family " sort of interest in Duke's career, related an anecdote or two of the other side of the world, and drew out of Duke, who speedily got at home with him, the confession of his hopes and ambitions for the future, which sprang from the main fact that at present he hated business and loved art. GLENCAIRX. 73- Glencairu was not a business man, thougli he had entered into many a specula- tion, and made many a lucky investment in his day. And he hated control and restraints of all kinds, and never in his life, "which had been so full of ups and downs, had served regular hours in any sedentar}" regular employment under orders for one day longer than was absolutely necessary to get him his bread. Necessary for very daily bread it had sometimes been to him ; and then he had bent silently to the yoke, but had cast it off the moment he felt himself able to do so. Thus, although he said few or no words of sympathy or en- couragement to Duke Mayburne's wayward fancy, his influence was a sympathetic one, and his look rested kindly on the boy's face. 74 GLENCAIRN. "Not a bit like his father," he said when Duke was gone. " And it is a fine face ! If I am any judge of physiognomy, that boy will have his will and make his way." Luli was delighted with her dog, which was called Jack. She demurred to this unromantic cognomen a little at first, and would have preferred " Conrad ;" but as Duke had presented it to her under the briefer and less euphonious name, and as it answered to " Jack," and was not at all responsive to Conrad, " Jack " the terrier remained to the end of the chapter. Apropos of this precious white pup, a little incident occurred one day, which, as straws show which way the current sets, impressed the Misses Potter with varied ideas on the subject of trusting Luli to the tender mercies of their nephew-in-law. GLEXCMRN. 75 The two elderly aunts, and Glencairn, and Lull and the dog, were enjoying the healthful and harmless recreation of a morn- ing walk in the park. Jack, much rejoicing in the open air and the soft, fresh, elastic turf, was careering in cii'cles about, looking not unlike a large white rabbit frisking on the green grass. Luli was watching her pet's evolutions with great interest and admiration, when a sandy dog of Bohemian aspect, somewhat larger than carefully- combed and cleaned, snowy-white Jack, advanced to the assault, laid disrespectful dirty paws on Jack's sleek and spotless white shoulder, and attempted to seize him by the ear. Luli flew to the rescue, and tried to catch her favourite up in her arms. The other dog, not approving of this interfer- ence, snapped at her hand. *7Q GLENOAIRN. " Did lie bite you ?" asked Glencairn. " Only a scratch," she said, startled, and looking half inclined to cry. "Which was it bit vou?" " That nasty yellow dog," replied Luli. Glencairn pushed the white dog to one side, and kicked the unfortunate yellow dog with a force that flung it several yards away, where it fell helpless, with a howl of pain, and lay yelping loudly. The Misses Potter uttered little screams. Glencairn turned and walked straight on his way. Luli, very pale, her little lips quite white, frightened into absolute pas- siveness, followed her father tremblingly for a step or two ; then the piteous cries of the dog became more than she could bear ; she stood still, burst into bitter tears, and sobbed out, GLENCAIRX. 77 " Ob, tlie poor dog !" " Why, it bit you," said Glencairn, practi- cally. " But it's burt ! — ob ! it's burt, poor tbing ! — bark ! bear it !" And Luli stopped up ber ears witb two fingers and sobbed more loudly. " Come along ; don't cry," said Glencairn, taking ber band. He spoke not at all barsbly, indeed quite gently ; but tbe cbild felt be was not to be disobeyed, and let bim lead ber along, away from tbe victim, wbose piteous bowls fell fainter and fainter on tbeir ears. Her Aunt Priscilla, partly afraid of offending Glencairn, and partly afraid of being bitten by tbe suffering dog, did not go near it, altbougb ber beart was melted, and sbe was sbedding a tear meekly bebiud ber veil. Miss Cbristiana, less ten- 78 GLENCAIRN. der-lieartedj did not particularly yearn to nurse the animal ; but she looked indig- nantly at Glencairn, and muttered "Brute!" i but she stood sufficiently in awe of him to mutter it under her breath. Luli reluctantly allowed herself to be led to the gate of the park ; but there she stopped, and pleaded earnestly and tear- fully, " Do, do, papa dear, let me go back and see if the poor dog is better. Papa, darling, please r Glencairn hesitated a moment, looking half impatient, and then relented. " Well, well, go home with your aunts, and ill go back and see how it is. I dare say it's well by this time. If not, I'll give some boy sixpence to look after it. There, cheer up, little one ! it shall be all right." GLEXCATRN. 7^ Gleucairu turned back and walked away with quick strides. When he returned home, and Luli ran to him, asking eagerly, " How is the dog?"" he replied, *'It's better; it wasn't much hurt; it's- not crying a bit now. I sent a boy to look after it." But Priscilla thought that the dog must have been too much hurt to be so rapidly cured ; and when she could find an oppor- tunity of speaking alone to Glencairn, she inquired of him, in a low voice — " How did you manage about the dog ?" " Why, I killed it," he answered ; '' that was the best thing. Ribs were broken too badly to recover. Here !" he added, sud- denly, looking sharply at her, " don't say a word to Luli ! The child's too sensitive- Not a word to her, mind." 80 GLENCAIRN. Miss Priscilla implicitly obeyed him, •chiefly because she dared not for her life have done otherwise. But she mourned to Miss Christiana — " Luli is so truthful and open, and so tender-hearted ! And he is so different from his child !" It seemed to poor Priscilla strange and almost impossible that the Glencairn of that morning was the very same and no other than the Glencairn who amused Kate Craven and Luli by tale-telling that very day after tea, and round whom the children clung so trustingly and affectionately. Katie Craven had come to tea with Luli, and after that meal (partaken of in the drawing-room in company with the an- cients), whereat the two little girls had been almost preternaturally well-behaved, and had done credit to their schooling in GLEXCAIRX. 81 the " General Deportmeut " branch, they raced down to the parlour for their " treat," — the evening's treat — au hour with Glencairn. They drew two low footstools to the win- dow, beside which his armchair was situ- ated, and sat at his feet, while he told them a wonderful story about the emerald eye of an Indian idol. Old Mr. Foster was a kind old gentleman, who gave the little girls chocolate-drops, and asked them how old they were, and what prizes they got at school ; but Luli and her little visitors did not look forward to half an hour with Mr. Foster as a treat, and were never seen sit- ting at his feet, adoringly listening to his stories, as they were seen with Glencairn. Miss Priscilla did not understand Glencairn at all ; she could not help feeling a sort of VOL. I. G 82 GLENCAIEN. doubtful, half -reluctant liking for him ; and this liking of her own puzzled herself. She had been accustomed all her life to see the sheep and the goats feeding in separate pastures, with broad and high hedges marking the limits of each. She believed human natures to be black all through, or white all through ; cruel and false all through, or kind and true all through. Glencairn was neither; he was kind and cruel, faithless and true ; he was not a sheep, and yet was not altogether a goat ; and so he puzzled her. As for Miss Christiana, she never did, and never could, like Glencairn, and re- joiced when he fixed a time for his depart- ure, although she regretted that he would take Luli with him, and she would be their charge no more. GLENCAIKN. 83 " Unless lie gets tired of her !" Miss Christiana added, grimly. Glencairn, not having been in London for so many years, was in no immediate hurry to leave it, although he had little love for great cities. During this visit — which, bird of passage though he was, endured some months — he saw a great deal of Duke Mayburne, and conceived a rather unusual preference for him, for as a rule the society of young men was to him an unbearable infliction. But this young fellow's kindness to Luli (whose childish prettiness pleased his artistic eye, and whose childish aif ection for himself flattered his youthful vanity) was gratifying to Luli's father. A kind of intimacy, too unequal and superficial to bear the title of friendship, arose between the man and the g2 84 GLENCAIRN. boy ; and it became a frequent occurrence for Duke to join Gleucairn and little Luli in their Sunday " outings." Glencairn always took Luli out on a Sunday — some- times for a long drive in tlie country, sometimes on an excursion by rail, now for a row on the river, and then for a ramble at Hampstead, not on the Heath, where the holiday-makers disported them- selves, with shouts and laughter, and much popping of ginger-beer and peeling of oranges — but round the lanes and fields, which were comparatively quiet. There, under the shelter of some convenient bank or tree, they would partake of a kind of picnic lunch, composed of sandwiches thoughtfully prepared by Miss Potter, and a wine-flask provided by Glencairn, with sometimes a similar contribution from GLENCAIRN. 85 Duke Maybiirne, and an extempore table- cloth made out of the morning's news- paper. " On all Hampstead Heath I don't sup- pose there is any more oddly assorted trio than Ave are," Glencairn observed, as he disinterred a cold sausage and a French roll from the recesses of a brown paper parcel. " Luli, why don't you run and play with those little girls over there? Duke, my boy, there are some kindred souls for you — why don't you join them ?" indi- cating a quartette of young men in their Sunday array, many-coloured as Joseph's coat in regard to their ties and gloves, who were singing a popular air in chorus with great satisfaction to themselves, and ap- parently with truth, as they were asserting that " Jolly dogs were they !" 86 GLENCAIEN. " Thanks, I'm quite happy as I am, if you are not in a hurry to get rid of me," responded Duke. "I don't particularly want to be a ' jolly dog,' and I do want one of those sandwiches." " Ham sandwiches," observed Glencairn, "the conventional British traveller's re- freshment, selected probably because the least satisfying, least refreshing, and alto- gether most objectionable and inconvenient meal for travelling. Now fruit — choco- late Look here, did I ever tell you howj when I was in the South Sea Islands " And Glencairn launched off into one of his travellers' anecdotes. He had plenty of them, though it was not often that he related them ; he required to be in an especially expansive mood to do so ; and GLENCAIKN. 87 it was the opinion of some who knew him well that the most interesting and auto- biographical anecdotes which he could have told would never be related at all. Duke liked to "set the old fellow going," as he irreverently put it. Indeed the " odd- ly assorted trio," the bearded, careworn traveller of many lands, in the Autumn prime of his rough roving life, the young man in the vigorous May of his, and the fragile girl-child on whom the early Spring of life had scarcely dawned, got on always well together, and were more and more frequently in each other's company as weeks went on. They often went for a day down the river together. Duke was very fond of rowing ; indeed it was the only athletic exercise he cared much about, or at any 86 GLENCAIEN. rate mucli indulged in. A horse was too expensive a luxury for liim to gratify his taste for riding often ; but a day's boating was easily attainable, especially as Glen- cairn also liked to take an oar, and they often rowed down the river, pulling along in sociable silence for half the day, while Luli sat curled up in the bottom of the boat playing with her doll or picture-book, or with Jack, who was sometimes honoured with a place amongst the party, and some- times left at home howling and disappointed. One day they had pulled a long way down the river, past the bridges and the smoke and the close-packed houses, away to banks of sloping gardens and Autumn- tinted trees. It had been a long, hard row, and here they rested on their oars. There were houses near, not the dingy GLENCAIKX. 89 ranks of tall, square brick boxes that make and mar tlie streets of London, but pretty villas of varied architecture, half buried in trees and shrubbery, with green velvet lawns slanting to the river, and trimmed and pruned flowering bushes following the bend of the bank. There were people strolling about the gardens; there was one garden that seemed to be- long to an establishment something of the nature of an hotel, to judge by the little tables dotted about in arbours and under trees. It was not a lonely spot by any means ; there were several boats about, and a string of big, heavy, hulking-looking barges sliding by, black and ugly, like a trail of blots across the bright, quiet beauty of the river there. There was a deep blue sky, flecked with 90 GLENCAIEN. soft snow-wreaths of floating cloud that melted and merged into the blue as you gazed upon them ; and in the west a rosier light was rising, deepening as the sun sank lower. " There ' is the smoke that so gracefully curled ' !" quoted Glencairn, looking at a faint blue mist behind a tall laurel shrub- bery. "But 'if there's peace to be found in the world,' — by the heart humble or otherwise, — I think you are as likely to find it in a prairie camp or a city garret as here !" "Peace seems to me a very poor am- bition," observed Diike, with youthful rashness and energy. " How can mere peace be an aim and object of anybody's life ? It seems to me only needful to come late in the day — a rest after all things have been won." GLENCAIEN. 91 " Or lost," suggested Gleucairn. " "When you have lost your stake, you'll look for peace, and not find it. While you are winning, it won't be for peace you'll seek." " Papa, is a prairie prettier than this ?" inquired Luli, who had been dwelling upon the word she had caught a few moments before, and who was seated in the stern, enjoying the proud privilege of steer- ins:. " Well, I don't think it would be to your taste. There's a good deal of sameness about it. I say, Duke, we're not on the^ right side for this steamer to pass. We'd better pull across." "We shall fall foul of those barges, then, if we don't look out," observed Duke. " Hadn't we better stop here?" "There's time to fall in below th& 92 GLENCATRN. barges," said Glencairn. "Pull away hard." They did pull hard, but the steamer was shooting along more rapidly, and the barges were drifting out of the way slower than Glencairn had calculated. Instead of get- ting clear of the steamer, they were actual- ly crossing its path ; but they would have cleared it safely enough, if Luli, in her alarm at seeing the steamer so close upon them, had not let go the rope, and then seized and jerked it the wrong way. The boat swung round in the swell of the steamer ; it seemed that the steamer barely touched it ; but in a second it capsized and tossed its three occupants into the water close to the revolving paddle-wheels. Glencairn seized Luli with one arm almost before the water had" time to close GLENCAIEN. 93 over lier head, and with the other arm struck out for the bank. The bank was not distant; he was a good swimmer, and reached it easily, encumbered though he was. He had scrambled on to the shore and lifted Lull up in his arms, shivering and drenched, but quite unhurt, almost before the lookers- on could rush from the gardens to his assistance, before the ladies on board the steamer had done screaming, and while the men were yet flinging a rope over the steamer's side. Two or three sympathetic matrons and maidens — one of whom had clambered over an iron railing in her eagerness — im- mediately made a rush for Luli ; but Glen- cairn, pushing her dripping hair off her face, and assuring himself anxiously that she was safe and sound, wide-awake and ^4 GLENCAIKN. conscious, and in no way the worse except for fright, seemed in no hurry to give her out of his arms. Luli, rubbing the water out of her eyes, very pale, but at first too terrified for tears, looked round and then burst into a cry of alarm, " Duke ! Where is Duke ?" Glencairn looked round too at the child's cry. He had entirely forgotten their com- panion ; or rather, knowing that the young man could swim, he had not thought of looking after him ; he had been only ab- sorbed in the child. Now he saw in one rapid glance that there was no glimpse to be caught of Duke either in the water or on the shore, and that there was thus a very good reason for the excitement of the people who were running to and fro on the GLENC^VIEN. 95 bank, and of those "who were still shouting and caUing from the steamer and from the boats that came crowding round. Glencairn gave Luli into the arms of the nearest woman, and echoed the question, '« Where is he ?" " He must have been hit by the steamer," shouted one man. " He went down like lead all in a minute," called out another. Glencairn tore off his coat and boots, which in the suddenness of the overset he had had no time to remove, and sprang to the water's edge. He cast one glance, swift and keen as an eagle's, up, down, across the river ; shouted once more to the men on board, " Do you see no sign of him ?" and then plunged and dived down near the spot where he supposed Duke must have sunk. 96 GLENC4IEN. The groups on the bank, who were mo- mentarity increasing in numbers, watched breathlessly, and called aloud injunctions to the boatmen, who shouted mutual in- structions in turn. The women clustered round Luli and hugged her and tried to hush her frightened sobs. All eyes were fastened on the spot where Glencairn had disappeared. Hush ! he is coming up again ! there is his head by that boat ! there he is — and there he is, alone! They are stretching out hands to help him into the boat, but he rejects the help. He has only come to the surface to take breath ; he pauses only a minute, and then he is down again, down deep under the water out of sight. They wait and watch ; it seems hours, though it is only moments, that they wait GLEXaVIEX. 97 and watch; and the woman who holds Lull is sobbing too hysterically herself to soothe the child. At last — at last there is a shout of " Here ! here he is !" from one of the boats ; something dark comes to the surface of the water; there is one mo- ment's breathless watch, and then a ring- ing shout of " Hurrah ! hurrah 1" goes up to the sky. " He has got him ! he has got him safe !" they cry, while eager hands are held out to help to haul the two men into the nearest boat. One is of course perfectly insensible, and hangs a limp, heavy, helpless mass over their arms as they manage to drag him over the side. The other seems very little the worse for his diving-exploit and scrambles up into the boat without much difficulty. A few strokes take the boat VOL. I. H 98 GLENCAIRN. to the bank. There is a rush to assist Glencairn out ; but he is in no need of assistance, though still panting and breath- less. He steps on shore, and stands, dripping, in a pool of water, water running in little rivulets from his hair and eyes and nose and chin, the centre of an ad- miring, eager, congratulatory group. Luli flies to him and seizes his strong wet dripping hand in both her small trembling ones. His is trembling a little too, as he clasps her clinging fingers close, and turns to see that they are lifting Duke out of the boat. " Carry him to the house, quick," he says with his usual authoritative tone. "Oh ! is he dead ?" cries Luli sobbing wildly. "Dead? no! he's no business to be, at' GLENCAIEN. 99 least," lie answers abruptly. " I've seen men come to who have been twice as long immersed." He takes no notice of the friendly offers and inquiries and compli- ments that surround him, but suddenly strides out of the circle towards the two or three strono; men who are makino- some- what clumsy attempts to "lift up tenderly," and equally distribute between them the weight of a perfectly senseless human body about six feet high, and broad in pro- portion. " D n it ! do you want to destroy what life there's left in him ?" he says roughly. "Lay him flat on that rug there, and carry him so." Thus in obedience to his commands — for, though many other pieces of advice are offered, his is the instruction that is h2 TOO GLENCAIRN. followed — the procession moves off to- wards tlie house. Glencairn asserts in answer to all in- quiries that he is all right and perfectly himself, but he has not gone above a few steps when he staggers, and in spite of his muttered exclamations, (which sound sus- piciously like curses,) he has to be sup- ported and have brandy poured down his throat, before he can resume his independ- ent step. In the house Luli is cuddled and kissed and straightway undressed and put to bed by the sympathetic lady of the house, who cannot think of any better way to dispose of her. Glencairn, whose transitory faint- ness has quickly passed away, is surround- ed with attention, which he receives now with a half careless but not unattractive mixture of courtesy and taciturnity. ii GLENCAIRN. 101 Concerning Duke Mayburne there were many anxious questions as to whether he could be recovered from that cold and pulseless insensibility which looked far more like death than life. Glencairn maintained from the first that he would revive ; but it was some time before the question could be satisfactorily solved, and some sign of the life that had been nearly extinguished began to manifest itself. He did not open his eyes to full con- sciousness and murmur, " My preserver !" Half-drowned people don't as a rule. When he did revive — to find himself rolled in hot blankets, rubbed, chafed, and other- wise maltreated in a way that rendered the return to life rather an unpleasant affair — he stared vaguely round, and wondered where on earth he was, and what had hap- 102 GLENCAIEN. pened. There were strangers round Mm ; Glencairn was not there ; Luli was not there. He had not the least idea whose doing it was that he was still in the land of the living, until the master of the house presently enlightened him. " My dear boy," said that gentleman, with the familiarity and friendly interest one naturally feels towards a fellow-crea- ture one has just seen dragged back with trial and trouble from the border-land be- tween life aud death, *' if it had not been for that noble fellow who dived down twice at the risk of his own life to find you " (this was the natural exaggeration of the prevalent tendency to hero-worship, for Glencairn was too good a swimmer to have been in danger) — " if it had not been for his heroic efforts, you would never have been with us now." GLENCAIEX. 103 ""Who was it?" asked Duke, collecting his confused senses, and looking round the room. " Your friend who was with you ; the father of the little girl." " Is she all right?" he inquired eagerly, as the full remembrance of what had hap- pened flashed clearly upon Mm. He recollected the boat capsizing, and nothing more except a moment's struggle and a blank darkness coming over him. A sufficiently bad bruise on his head bore witness that some portion of the steamer, probably the paddle-box, must have struck him and stunned him as he sank. It was evident that, whatever was the value of Duke Mayburne's life, to that amount he was indebted to Glencairn. But how heavy or how light that debt might be. 104 GLENCAIUN. and how the after-years would pay it, only those coming years would show. Glencairn himself utterly refused to pose as the preserver, and when they sent for him to see Duke, bestowed on him no more affectionate greeting than — "Well, young man, so you've come round all right ? Eather a close shave it's been; Perhaps next time you get upset, ;| you'll bear in mind that your head was not intended by nature to knock against paddle- boxes." He would not be thanked, and barred all attempts at expressed gratitude, saying with an air of settling things finally, ^' Shut up, my boy. It was a mere chance. If I hadn't fished you out, some other fellow would." 105 CHAPTER V. " She touched me with her face and with her voice, This daughter of the people. Such soft flowers From such rough roots?" E. B. Browning. rilHE river adventure was a nine days' sensation anion o;st the small circle of the Glencairns' friends, and a nine years' stock anecdote for the Miss Potters. By good fortune it led to no evil results ; no consumption, nor rheumatic fever, nor bronchitis followed it ; indeed, except that Luli had a slight cold for some days, and Duke an interesting cough for some weeks, " Nobody seemed one penny the worse." 106 GLENCAIRN. Glencairn of course observed every pos- sible precaution as regarded Luli, physic- ally and mentally, even guarding to tlie best of his ability against the accident's leaving behind (as such alarms so often do) any enduring nervousness in the child's sensitive organization. His plan was to take her on the water as soon again as possible, and more frequently than ever, so as to accustom and inure her to it ; and he succeeded so well that although she never forgot her fright, she was not a prey to any recurrent fears as to the " dangers of the deep." Of course the episode rather tended to increase than to diminish the intimacy between the Glencairns and young May- burne. Although Duke certainly had not distinguished himself in any way on the GLENCAIHN. 107 occasioD, except by having a much narrower escape than the rest, and giving a great deal more trouble in his restoration, he shared largely in the prestige of the adven- ture. The time drew near, however, when thi& intimacy was to be interrupted by external circumstances. Glencairn and Luli wera going to cross the Channel, and Duke to- remain in Loudon ; thus as none of the three were likely to be good correspondents, and as the duration of the Glencairns ab- sence was uncertain, the friendship, so far as seeing and hearing, giving and receiving news, went, ran a risk of being broken up and lost, if the random chances that had worked to bring them together should work equally to keep them apart. Luli was in hisrh delio'ht at the idea of 108 GLENOAIRN. going away with lier father, and, child-like, indulged more in the pleasures of hope than in the sentiment of memory, and antici- pated entering on her new life far more eagerly than she regretted leaving the old. The evening preceding the Glencairns' departure was Katie Craven's annual birth- day party. Glencairn, having another en- gagement, was unable to go ; but of course Luli was not to be deprived of the treat, but was to be escorted there and fetched away by the Misses Potters' upper domestic. Duke Mayburne was to be there too; he had been introduced by Glencairn to the Cravens, who had straightway taken a fancy to his 'bright, attractive face, and in- vited him warmly to share their hospi- tality. GLENCAIKX. 109 Kate's birthday party is a heterogeneous melee of various ages, little schoolfellows, old uncles and grandmammas, old friends, and old friends' grown-up sons and daugh- ters, new friends and their little ones. Just at first the elements do not mix very well, but seek out affinities, and sejDarate into congenial groups ; the little boys in tartans and knickerbockers herd into one corner; the boys in jackets, turn to the schoolgirls about their own age ; the ma- trons seek out the easy-chairs ; the heads of families congregate on the hearthrug with their backs to the fire ; and the young men and maidens follow the elementary laws of natural affinity. Mr. Duke Mayburne, according to the wont of young men in their teens, devotes himself to a comparatively mature syren 110 GLENCAIEN. •of some eight-and-twenty Summers. Luli, who is more interested in Duke than in anybody else there, seats herself on a foot- stool at the lady's feet, with the purpose of enjoying their conversation, which she fol- lows with simple interest, perfectly inno- cent of any suspicion that her company might (under some similar circumstances) not be desired. As it happens, they are only talking Millais, and Frith, and Faed, and Luli soon gets weary of the discussion, and inspired by the cheerful strains of a piano and bells, wanders into the adjoining room, where a quadrille is in progress of form- ing. Luli is just too late to find a partner, and is young enough to reply to the sym- pathetic remark of a matron on this sub- ject, "There isn't one to spare, you see" GLENCAIRN. IH (rather disconsolately). "But" (with rising cheerfulness) " I shall stand here and wait. I think, if I stand just here " (confidentially), " I shall be sure to get one for the next." "I'll see that you do, my dear," says the matron, smiling ; and Luli, her spirits raised by this promise, stands by to amuse herself watching the dance. There are grown-up girls who know the figures, and little ones who don't ; the two little girls who are most cm fait at every turn, and who consequently take the lead from the other little ones, are Kate Craven and a slender, dark-eyed girl in a pink-spotted muslin frock that looks somewhat faded, and is much eclipsed by the fresh and pretty snow, white toilettes around her; for all the other little girls are as tastefully and 112 GLENCAIEN. daintily attired as the grown-up young ladies. Luli would not have noticed that this girl's dress was inferior to the others if she had not heard somebody behind her remark that it was "shabby," but that "the child was pretty," and "who was she ?" To which Mrs. Craven replied con- fidentially, in a slightly lowered voice, which nevertheless Luli, as she stood beside them watching the dance, heard quite distinctly — " Well, she is a little niece of our land- lady's in the place where we lodged down at Brighton. She is a very nice, well- mannered child, and we got into the habit of letting Katie make a companion of her. Katie took a fancy to her, you see. They are badly off, poor things, of course, and they cannot afford to dress her as we dress GLENCATEX. 113 our children. But I like to see simplicity in youth," added good Mrs. Craven, charit- ably, and proceeded to imply a contradiction of her own words by explaining that they would have presented little Zora with a new dress, but her coming to the party had been quite suddenly arranged, to please Katie: Luli got a partner for the next dance, and whirled round the room in high delight. Duke Mayburne did not join the festive throng in the dancing-room ; he was still apparently absorbed talking art to his mature charmer in the raven ringlets. For the dance following, however, he and that lady appeared upon the scene, and floated away delicately into a slow polka- mazurka. This being a dance unpractised by Luli, she was obliged to sink into the VOL. I. I 114 GLBNCAIRN. ranks of the wallflowers again. When it was over, Duke deposited his partner under the wing of a chaperon and came to invite Luli for the following Lancers. Luli responded to the invitation delightedly; she was proud of having such a big, tall, handsome friend ; and then, too, she had contracted a habit of carrying all her pro- blems of life and the world to Duke for him to solve ; and during the progress of the polka-mazurka, a new problem had suggested itself to her — or, rather, had been suggested by the confidential instruc- tion she had accidentally heard given by a mamma to a little girl who, like Luli, was " standing out " of the dance. " Do not talk too much to that little Zora Brown, my dear," this lady had said to her offspring. " I don't wish you to be GLENCMRN. 115 friendly Tvith her. She is not a lady, you know ; and your papa and I don't wish you to associate with any but little ladies." Luli, with great interest in the question on which this remark had set her small brain pondering, appealed eagerly to Duke on the subject as they paired off to take their places. " Please tell me, how can you know whether people are ladies or not ? Because I heard that lady say that Zora Brown was not a lady ; and I want to know, what really makes a lady ?" Although she spoke confidentially, Luli had not spoken in a prudently lowered voice, and had already finished her speech, when she perceived, to her horror, Zora Brown passing at her elbow, so close that she could not fail to have heard the in- I 2 116 GLENCAIEN. discreetly plain words. That slie liad heard them, was evident by her deep blush and hasty move away from Luli, who, on her part, coloured as deeply, and looked far more confused and over- whelmed. This mal-a-propos incident saved Duke Mayburne from the responsibility of solv- ing the problem Luli had propounded, for she was so abashed and distressed by her own indiscretion that she made no further allusion to it, and was delighted to escape from conversation into the mazes of the Lancers. After this dance came supper for the younger people, which prospect Luli greeted gladly, not only for the natural and obvious reason, but also because she saw in it a means of endeavouring to atone GLENCAIEN. 117 for her error. Accordingly, in the supper- room, she armed herself with the most oorofeous ecold and silver cracker she could find, and making her way up to Zora Brown, eagerly touched her arm, and whispered, holding out the gilded peace- offering, " Please will you pull this with me ? I'm so sorry I said that." Zora Brown looked a little surprised, and then she smiled — looking very pretty and pleasant when she smiled — and ac- cepted the olive-branch, saying, with a lack of eloquence but an abundance of good- nature, " Oh, never mind. I didn't care !" The cracker was pulled, the motto read, and the sugar-plum eaten ; and then Luli, who did not feel that she had done quite 118 GLENCAIRN. ■ enough, glanced round the table till her eyes lit on a dish of tempting crystallised sugar-rings. She helped herself to these with a liberal hand, and brought the plate to Zora, saying, ' " Please eat these with me ; and you won't think anything more about what I said, will you ?" ; " Oh no," promised Zora, munching a : sugared citron-ring. "But I want to know too just what you were asking that gentleman. You were asking what makes a real lady, and that is what I often want to know." " I will ask papa," said Luli reflectively. " Papa is sure to give me an explanation." " I've got no papa to ask," said Zora a little sadly. Luli felt sympathetic, but could not GLENCAIRN. 119 think of anything comforting to say or do, except pushing the largest and sugariest piece of citron she could find into her companion's hand. She was more puzzled than ever, because there was nothing as far as she could detect, in her new acquaint- ance's voice, and look, and manner in the least incompatible with being a lady. She was a pretty, delicate-featured, soft^eyed child, with a gentle voice, and very fair, small, well-shaped hands, and a sort of sweet self-possession of manner which made her seem a year or two older than Luli, though there was only about a few months difference. " Where do you live ?" Luli ventured to ask, as they grew confidential with the ready familiarity of very young girls. " At Brighton. Not in a fine house like 120 GLENCAIRN. this. My |)eople let furnislied apartments. I suppose that's why — " Zora finished her sentence with a smile which Luli under- stood and answered. " No, I don't think that can be it," Luli said thoughtfully, continuing in her sim- plicity, " because my aunts have people staying with them, and they pay for their rooms, which is very much the same thing." " It seems very much the same thing, certainly," said Zora; "but then your people are richer than mine, I suppose. I'm an orphan, and I'm poor. I shan't have any money, ever, unless I marry a rich man." Marriage did not enter at all into Luli's speculations upon life at present, and she was not prepared to respond on that GLEXCAIRN. 121 branch of the subject. So Zora continued, waxing warmer and more confidential — ** And then of course I shall be a lady. Money seems to me to be the only thing that really makes a lady. They say it's other things. I should like to see, if there was a duchess in rags, barefoot at a crossing with a broom in her hand, who would know she was a duchess then ! Fine feathers make fine birds." " But it takes more than only feathers to make birds," rejoined Luli. " The jay, you know, was found out, although he pretended to be a peacock." " But human beings are all one species, not cut up into different genuses like birds, and beasts, and fishes," said Zora the literal, declining to be led away into similes. 122 GLENCAIEN. Lull was just rejoining that there were black men and white men, which undenia- ble assertion might perhaps have beaten Zora from the field of argument, when all the young people arose from supper to make way for their elders. "I'm going abroad to-morrow," said Lull to Zora Brown at parting, with an unconscious accent of pride on the word " abroad," " so I'm afraid I shan't see you again, but I should like to see you. I like to talk to you." "I should like to meet you too," said Zora, with an affectionate smile. " Are you going abroad to school ?" "I'm going to travel with papa. But I am to go to school part of the time. Have you been at school ?" " Oh yes, for three years." GLENCAIRN. 123- " Ab, I thought you had," said Luli, satisfied with her own penetration, " be- cause you knew about species and genuses." Zora laughed at this. "I did not learn Natural History at school," she said. *' I bought a book of it, full of pictures. I thought, though I was only a sparrow, I'd learn all about the pea- cocks and canaries." Luli embraced Zora Brown at parting ; indeed on the strength of her journey on the morrow, she flung herself into the arms of almost all the ladies and some of the old gentlemen present, vowed with many- kisses everlasting friendship with Katie- Craven, and was only disappointed because the publicity of the parting prevented her from entering into a similar covenant with. " dear old Duke." 124 GLENCAIRN. On her return home that night to the aunts and her father, there was of course —considering the impending journey "abroad" and the birthday party — so much to be said about so many things that not much was said about anything. But Luli found time to give Glencairn a hasty nar- rative of the "dreadful blunder" she had made, and referred to him the vexed ques- tion which she was confident in his power to solve. Glencairn at that hour had not oppor- tunity to enter deeply into the subject ; he found time, however, to say just enough to set Luli pondering more perplexedly than ever. " What makes a gentleman ? — what makes a lady?" he repeated. "Money? Money won't gild vulgarity, child; don't GLENCAIEX. 125 fancy it will. Rank? I've known a vis- count who was a snob and a sneak. Edu- cation ? "Well, the cleverest swindlers and rogues I ever met, and I've met many, were the best educated. Family ? The best blood gets spoilt by a bad cross. Family ! why look here, Luli, look at me and at yourself — at us two who don't even know what we are ! We may be, you and I, child, of royal blood or of beggar's blood — you may be an Earl's granddaughter or a costermonger's ; I may be an admiral's son or a cabin-boy's. And is there any- one who can tell whether sang azur runs in our veins or not ? "We are that which our circumstances make us ; and who we really are, child, neither you nor I will ever know !" BOOK II. OUTWARD. 129 CHAPTER YI. " If we should meet once more, If both should not forget, "We shall clasp hands again the accustomed way As when we met. So long ago, as I remember yet !" Christina Rossetti. rpiIE tranquil uneventful life wliich Lull Glencairn had led under her aunt's care, that level, monotonous life, Tvith its little daily pleasures and trivial incidents that to her seemed important, fell back into the past and became but a memory from the time that her father took her under his own sole charge. The change was complete and sudden ; VOL. I. K 130 GLENCAIEN. the kaleidoscope was sliaken for the first time, and the whole pattern of her life broke up and sparkled into newer, richer, more vivid combinations, and the old forms were lost for ever. She had never been further from home than on a midsummer trip to the seaside ; Glencairn took her to live abroad. She had known no city but London ; he took her to Paris when Paris was in the full brilliance of its Winter season. She had no idea of what moun- tains and glaciers in their full and beauti- ful reality were : he took her on a tour through all the highways and byways of Switzerland, and enjoyed her delight more than he enjoyed any pleasure of his own. Although Luli was too young to fully understand and appreciate all the pleasures of travel, she was quite old enough to enjoy GUENCAIEN. 131 them ; and she lived the life of a dream, the absolute, simple, self-absorbed happiness of a child to whom its own present joy is all. Such pure and simple absorption in the present, such limitless delight so bounded within the straight and narrow lines of the hour that is, comes but once again when childhood has past, and comes then as Love. So Lull, always a happy and contented child, was happier than ever now, and fair- ly adored the father who lavished on her all these new joys which in her short life hitherto she had not even dreamt of. .. Glencairn did not, however, waste his daughter's life away in an endless idle holiday. He attended to her education, now putting her to a day-school, then to a l)oarding-school, now having a master, and k2 132 GLENCATRN. then a governess, for her, in all the princi- i pal cities of Europe. She learned Italian ; in Naples, German in Dresden, and was i *' finished" in French at the best establish- ment Glencairn could find in Paris. Luli was not brilliantly clever ; but she was intelligent, painstaking, and anxious to please, and was never found a back- ward, careless, or unsatisfactory pupil. As she grew year by year less of a child, and womanly manners and qualities gradually developed in her, Glencairn recognised in her more and more clearly his wife living again. , She was very gentle, docile, affectionate, \ and governed easily and entirely by her affections ; but she was singularly free from the besetting faults that too frequent- \ ly mar a soft and gentle nature. Of all GLEN'CAIEX. 133 tlie various forms of duplicity, and of the weakness that always more or less tends towards deceptiveness, Luli had never a trace. She was the most guileless, credulous, and innocent of children, the most stupidly unworldly, the most easily managed, and most easily deceived, but the last to screen herself in any childish fault by any attempt at concealment. She was like Glencairn in a certain quiet tenacity that verged on obstinacy, and a spirit that, notwithstanding all her shy gentleness, rose defiant against injustice, and that, though it would readily bend to kindness, roughness could not break. In all other qualities, especially in her spot- less truth and tenderness and simplicity, she was her mother's living likeness. The Glencairns lived abroad for several 134 GLENCAIEN. years, now taking a villa or a suite of apartments for the season or the year, now wandering from hotel to " pension," and " pension "to " furnished flat ;" they paid occasional visits to England, but these visits were few and brief; and Luli lost sight of almost all the acquaintances and friends of her childhood. The Cravens, who had been to her only casual friends of a few weeks, and whose acquaintance with Glencairn had begun by a mere chance meeting in a train, were, oddly enough, the friends they saw most of. The Cravens liked the Glencairns, and always sought them out when the former were in Paris or the latter in London. Kate Craven and Luli kept up a correspondence, and thus were always aware each of the other's whereabouts. Of other friends, Duke May- GLENCAJEN. 135 burne included, Lull soou quite lost the trace ; and it was only chance at last that threw Duke May burne across her path again some seven or eight years after they had drifted apart. It was at Etretat they met, to which peaceful little village the Glencairns, tired of the incessant bustle and gaiety of its brilliant neighbour Trouville — a veritable Paris-sur-Mer — had come for quiet and rest. It was just before the tahle-d'hcHe dinner, when the summoning bell was momentarily expected to ring, that Duke Mayburne was lounging in the courtyard of the Hotel Blanquet, being one of a straggling and aimless group who were standing about in various attitudes of placid do-nothingness, watching a white pony of rebellious inclinations who refused 136 GLENOAIRN. to go the way he should go, and manifest- ing a superficial interest in the pony's argument with his driver, for the simple and obvious reason that there was nothing else on the spot to inspire interest until the dinner-bell should sound. Duke May- burne was standing as aimlessly, and re- garding the pony and chaise as neutrally, as the rest of the little assembly, when, happening to turn his head, he found himself face to face with Luli Glencairn, though at the first glance he did not re- cognise her, and only wondered " why that pretty girl was staring at him." She had remembered him instantly, and her gaze of surprised recognition warmed into a pleased and welcoming smile, as she said frankly, "You here? Why, who would have thought of meeting you ?" GLENCAIRX. 137 Duke bowed politely, but puzzled, and was about to drop a mild liint that he should like to be enlig^htened as to the name of his fair acquaintance, when sud- denly the recollection flashed upon him. " Luli — it is Luli Glencairn !" and he seized her hand with a delighted smile. *' You must forgive me that for the moment I was not sure it was you ; you were a child, you know, and now — you are so grown, so " Duke cast an eloquent look upon her face that finished his sen- tence satisfactorily. " I need not ask how you are, but I've got to ask how you have been, and what has become of you all these years." " Papa ! who is this ?" said Luli, turning with a bright smile to Glencairn, who just then made his appearance on the scene. 138 GLENCAIRN. The recognition of the two men, being assisted by this hint, was immediate — pro- bably would have been immediate even without the hint. They grasped hands gladly, heartily ; and their meeting was cordial enough to delight *Luli, who ex- claimed with playful reproach, " And papa, he didn't know me a bit at first !" " I appeal to you, Mr. Glencairn, as to whether there is any marvel in my remiss- ness at recognising in this lady the child I used to play with " " And cut out comic pictures for, and give puppies to," interposed Luli merrily. The dinner-bell now clanged out a deaf- ening summons, and the three went in together to the taUe-dhote, talking all the way. GLEXCAIRX. 13^ It was perhaps not a matter of surprise^ that Lull should have known Duke May- burne before he recognised her. He was scarcely changed at all ; he had grown a light moustache ; he was a handsome man instead of a handsome boy ; he was broader of shoulder and more self-possessed of manner and polished of accent ; but in face he was singularly little altered. The years that had ripened Luli from the child to the girl — for you could hardly call that fair, slight, fresh, frank, light-hearted creature a woman yet — had altered her far more, and improved as much as they had changed. She had been pretty, as all fair-com- plexioned, golden-haired children with no positive disfigurement are pretty ; she was now really beautiful. She had grown tall 140 GLENCAIRN. and very slight ; indeed tlie sligHtness of her figure and the pure transparent pink and white of her complexion indicated that her health was probably not robust. Her hair was a shade darker than it used to be, but it was still of a golden tint, too warm for flaxen, too bright for yellow, without a trace in auburn in all its hues, pure ripe gold in the light, and richly embrowned in the shadows. Her features were regular; her small delicate face was of an oval shape, and her eyes — were those large soft eyes blue or grey ? Duke Mayburne could not solve that point when he came to notice them ; they seemed to him " Eyes too expressive to be blue, Too lovely to be grey !" He manoeuvred successfully to sit next to Luli at dinner, naturally deeming it GLENCAIKN. 141 pleasant to sit by one of the prettiest girls at the table, with whom he suddenly found himself on delightfully friendly terms. "You don't look much like quill-pens and red-ruled ledgers," observed Glen- cairn, good-humouredly regarding the young man's attire. Duke's coat was a loose velvet one ; his collar was sufficiently low and his tie sufficiently neglvje to look artistic ; he was probably well aware that a certain amount of neglige suited his pic- turesque style ; and the hat, which on en- tering the room he had hung up on one of the pegs for that purpose provided, was a soft slouched felt, not unsuitable to the stao:e brio^and. '' No ; my weapon is the pencil, and not the quill, I rejoice to say." " I should have thought it was the brush," 142 GLENOAIBN. suggested Luli, to whom a pencil did not appear an artistic implement. "Brush and oils are in the future," he replied. "My works at present merely serve to embellish the ephemeral literature on which you expend your monthly shilling or your weekly sixpence. I started finally at the foot of the ladder, but only after one or two vain endeavours to leap up to the top at a bound. Those endeavours remain in my little studio with their faces to the wall and the dust settling on their backs." " You did not enter your uncle's office then ?" said Glencairn. " I think I heard something from Miss Potter of your deter- mination." "Yes; Aunt Ohrissy told us that news — and added her comments thereupon !" said Luli, with rather a mischievous little smile. GLENCAIEN. 143 " "Which were probably of a kind uncom- plimentary to my wisdom, if not doubtful of my sanity ?" conjectured Duke with an amused lauofh. "And how do you find it answer?" in- quired Glencairn. " Oh, I get on well enough," replied the young artist lightly. " I have never ex- perienced anything nearer starvation than being reduced to a mutton-chop and a pint of bitter ale. To be sure that happened at first with rather monotonous frequency ; but I have had no nearer acquaintance with the wolf at the door than throwing him the bone of my chop out of the window." Duke tossed his handsome curly head back with a smile that was partly defiant of the Fates and partly confident in them. ] 44 GLENCAIEN. Lull and lie talked on, and laughed ; and Glencairn put in a word now and then. Their neighbours at the table were no drawback to the freedom of their conversa- tion, as all around them the Erench tongue, and the French only, babbled shrill and voluble above the clattering of the forks. After dinner the trio did not separate, but walked together along the beach, and watched the cliffs in the fading light of sunset, and then resorted to the little "Casino" by the sea, where the various visitors to Etretat were taking their plea- sure according to their various tastes. The Glencairns and Duke Mayburne sat at a little table discussing tiny cups of cafe noir in one of the verandahs facing the sea, while from the music-room issued snatches of Offenbach-ian airs, and from the billiard- GLEXCAIEX. 145 room the click of the cue ou the ball, and from the little scattered tables the popping of lemonade-corks ; and along the terrace a stream of dark figures, like moving sil- houettes against the grey sky and sea, took their nightly promenade. There was a Hght perpetual murmur of voices and low laughter, and now and then a shrill childish burst of merriment broke in upon the bright dance-music without jarring it. Behind it all the sea whispered its eternal secrets softly to the shore. Some few stray units of the public had wandered down over the rough stones to the water's edge ; but the public in general preferred the smoothly-paved terrace, and the lively strains of the band, who made night gay with their minstrelsy. The scene was pretty and the time was VOL. I. L 146 GLENCAIRN. peaceful, and things in general were very pleasant, all the more pleasant to Duke Mayburne for Lull's presence, all the more pleasant to her for his. " Good night. May I say Lull still, or must I be formal now ?" he asked, as they parted. " We are too old friends to be Mr. May- burne and Miss Glencairn, surely," she replied, frankly, giving him her hand. " Good night, Luli, then." " And good night, Duke." They did not lower their voices nor im- port any sentiment into the occasion ; they were simply frank and friendly as old playmates and companions naturally are ; and Glencairn had no lecture to read Luli on the familiarity of her manner ; nor was she, who was still simple and open as a GLENCAIRN. 147 child, in the least fearful lest she should have been too unreserved. She had been almost as naively, naturally affectionate in her greeting to her childhood's friend and hero as if she had met a brother. Glencairn had brought her up freely, though not carelessly ; he knew his daughter's nature well, trusted her implicitl}^, and left her the almost perfect liberty he deemed she merited; thus she had grown up alike more simple and innocent, and more free and fearless than most girls who have mothers to guard and guide, and sisters to grow up with them. " Handsome fellow young Mayburne is still," observed Glencairn. "Not gone off a bit — rather improved, in fact." " Yes, he is," agreed Luli. " If you had not pulled him out of the river, papa, there l2 148 GLENCAmN. would liave been one fewer of the already too few perfectly handsome faces in the world," she added, demurely, nestling her two hands through her father's arm, as they walked homewards. These were fair samples of the class of remarks that were always the first to be made about Duke Mayburne. Everybody who spoke of him at all spoke first of his appearance — as the exception, to criticise, — as the rule, to admire. He paid the penalty of being like a piece of living sculpture, and looking as if he had been modelled from the antique, by being al- ways talked about as if he were only a fine specimen of animal nature, admirably bred to carry off the prize at a show of beautiful humanity. When people knew him better they came to observe him in GLEXCAIKN. 149 other lights, — to see that he was what the world, both masculine and feminine, ap- proves as "a very good fellow," frank, sanguine, healthy-tempered, affectionate, and sincere, with no more vanity than must of necessity accompany such a face and figure, and with plenty of versatility and energy and talent, which did not, however, promise to rise to genius. But ou a first acquaintance he was as a rule regarded merely in the light of a highly successful specimen of masculine beauty. 150 CHAPTER YII. " Between the sunset and the sea, Love watched one hour of love with me." Swinburne. rj^HE custom of having sitting-rooms does not prevail at Etretat. You go tliere to lead an out-of-door life, and a sitting-room is regarded as a superfluity. It is evident by the construction and ar- rangement of the houses, both public and private, that the architects and landlords looked upon it as heterodox to spend more hours within four walls than are necessary for eating, drinking, and sleeping. You GLENCAIRN. 151 cau entertain your friends at table-dhote dinner ; you can smoke and play billiards with them at the Casino ; you can meet them on the beach ; but for society, as re- presented by morning-calls and drawing- room visits, there is no provision, so that unless you are rarely fortunate or unusually extravagant in your accommodation, you have no medium between receiving your visitors in the privacy of your sleeping apartment or in the publicity of the general resorts. It was consequently on the beach that the Glencairns encountered Duke Mayburne next. Luli and her father were sitting watching the bathers, when the young artist, who had evidently been looking for them, came up and joined their group. They had been fortunate enough to secure 152 GLENCAIEN. two of tLe curious little •wooden chairs whicli Etretat generously provides (gratis !) for its visitors ; and as there was not a vacant chair to be found near, Duke pro- ceeded to stretch himself on the beach at their feet, cheerfully regardless of the roughness of the stones. It was a fine morning, and all Etretat, that is to say, all the visitors and Summer residents, were out upon the beach, half to bathe, and the other half to look on at the bathing. This was the correct and regular rule, which scarcely anyone departed from ; everyone either disported him or herself in the sea, or watched those who were so disporting themselves for admiration or criticism. The sea inshore was green as emerald and clear as glass ; the very pebbles could be counted through the transparent waves GLEXCAIRX. 153 beyond the white ribbon of surf that out- lined the curving shore. Further out at sea, the green was dashed with dark splashes of calm deep purple ; and green and purple towards the horizon melted into a line of vivid blue. On the left side of the bay, beyond the cliffs, the Aiguille rock stood out high and lofty and lonely as the spire of a cathedral ; to the right, the ridge of rock, honeycombed into natu- ral archways, ran out to sea like an arm stretched forth by the high battlemented cliffs to guard the ba}^ The land and sea lay bathed in sunshine, peaceful and silent, except for the murmur of the waves. Humanity supplied an abundant element of amusement and bustle in the scene. From out of the little square " cabins " of wood or canvas arranged in 154 GLENOAIEN. rows and blocks along the upper part of the beach, remarkable figures kept emerg- ing, and crossing the wide slope of shore between the cabins and the sea, running the gauntlet of hundreds of amused and curious eyes on their way ; for the specta- tors had come one and all, as they came daily, to see and criticise and be amused. Those bathers who were habituated to the manners and customs of the place walked leisurely and coolly down the beach in their various costumes de bam, pausing now and then to address a word or two to their friends on the way. Those whose first venture it was wrapped their cloaks closely about them, and hastened along, looking half ashamed of themselves. People who were vain of their figures stood posed in elegant attitudes on the GLEXCAIEN. 155 diviog-plaDk before leaping ; people who had no cause for vanity plunged in with baste and hurry. Young girls with white peignoirs robed loosely round them, tripped daintily down to the water's edge, and, dropping the snowy wrappers and stepping forth graceful and pretty in their neat Bloomer-like costumes, ran lightly into the waves. Some old gentlemen marched solemnly- down and took off their spectacles and gave them into the care of friends, and stood on the brink and shouted for a bathino-.mau to come and lead them forth to the combat with the waves ; other old gentlemen with silvery beards ran up the plank with the activity of youth and precipitated them- selves head first into ten feet of water. Luli Glencairn was highly amused ; and 156 GLENCAIRN. she and Duke Mayburne cliattered and laughed, in occasionally uncharitable mer- riment, while Glencairn, with a huge umbrella over his head to keep the sun off, pored over a book of travels, and occa- sionally smiled scornful incredulity at the author. Luli was holding up a parasol lined with pink, which reflected a becoming rosy tint on her face ; she had a black velvet ribbon tied round her neck, which made her fair skin look fairer than ever ; she wore a light grey dress and an oval grey straw hatj and except for the relief of a pink flower, and a gleam of pink ribbon, her golden hair was the brightest spot of colour in the undeniably pretty picture she made — a picture all the prettier for the childlike mirth which lit up her eyes and dimpled her cheek with smiles. GLE^■CAIE^^ 157 " Look ! just look at his bald head ! isn't it like a white life-buoy bobbing about ?" she exclaimed in a confidential whisper, as one ancient gentleman, with only a very thin and frao-ile frinore of hair around his scalp, swam shore wards. " Who is ^the wasp ?" inquired Duke, indicating a tall, slim young man clad all in brilliant stripes of black and gold. " I don't know. He bathed yesterdaj'. He is French, I think, and dives beauti- fully. Watch him !" The black and gold gentleman walked up to the highest end of the plank and plunged head first, like an arrow painted in zebra stripes, down through the clear green water. " Now — now ! look at the one in crimson !" continued Luli. " See how he poses and faces the audience, as if he were before the footlights. He is 158 GLENCAIEN. ■always doing statues ; yesterday he folded his arms and looked like Julius Cgesar ; lie stretches his arms up before he dives, and stands like a Caryatides ; and the other day when it was very rough, he did the Dying Gladiator beautifully, leaning on one elbow in the surf." " He is Mark Antony to-day, and there is his Cleopatra — crowned and bejewelled," observed Duke, as the gentleman in the elegant crimson costume bowed low and extended his hand to a young lady in an elaborate blue-braided toilette de hain, with her hair all concealed by a lofty and bright- ly trimmed head-dress of oilskin, and still wearing a broad gold bracelet on each arm. As this pair exchanged courteous and graceful greeting, the Zebra emerged, sputtering, dripping, breathless, from the GLENCAIRN. 159 waves, almost at their feet, and endea- voured to emulate tlie grace of tlie other's bow of recoornition to the fair wearer of the bracelets; but the laudable attempt was a lamentable failure ; and Cleopatra accepted Mark Antony's offered hand. " She can't swim," said Luli, " and Mark Antony can swim just a little, and is very proud of it, and splashes about in the most conspicuous place he can find, taking great care not to be very much out of his depth, but making sure that everybody will have the opportunity of admiring him." "You are such a severe little critic, Luli, that I rejoice heartily that I bathed early this morning, when your critical eyes were not here to behold." " I never laugh at the honest cowards," began Luli, explanatorily, but was not allowed to finish her sentence. 160 GLENCAIRN. " Thank you !" exclaimed Dake, laiigli- ingly, opening his handsome grey eyes to their widest extent. " Thank you very much ! that really is a great satisfaction. Honest cowards are exempt from your ridicule ; and you kindly assure me of the fact. I ajDpreciate the delicate inference !" " I did not mean anything of that kind," protested Luli, "and you know I did not — only you wouldn't hear me out !" "I apologise," he said, humbly. "It was very rude of me to interrupt you, but I really couldn't help it. That's my invaria- ble excuse for all my sins, as you will find out, and I generally find it answer. "Well, now, continue. You never laugh " " Only at people who are affected and strike attitudes; and, yes, I am afraid sometimes at fat old people, who are very GLENCAIRN. IGl awkward ! It's very uncliaritable of me, I kuow ; but I really can't help it." " My invariable excuse, literally and exactly repeated !" said Duke, triumphant- ly. " See, Luli, what a thing it is to have a friend who sets you good examples ! May the lesson learned this day bear fruit !" he added, in a pompous and slightly nasal tone, that made Luli laugh a pretty tink- liug laugh musical as a carillon of bells, as she answered, " I didn't need that example at all ; I am a great deal too much given already to say- ing ' I can't help it !' " " You cannot be too much given to so useful a habit," he responded. "It is a most serviceable weapon wherewith to clear your own way and get your own will in this world." VOL. I. M 162 GLENCAIRN, " How is that ?" asked Luli. " To say that ' you cannot help ' doing a thing is a polite and euphuistic way of conveying that you intend to do it," said Duke, as solemnly as a judge. " I'm afraid those are not very orthodox moral lessons you are reading to my little girl, Master Duke," observed Glencairn, shutting up his book with one of his soft, subtle, half cynical smiles. " If they are not good ones, I am very confident Luli will never learn them," said Duke, dropping his mimic gravity, and speaking frankly and deferentially. " That's about true," said Glencairn, turning his eyes slowly upon his daughter's face, with the tenderness just touched by sadness with which he often looked at her. Their little group was presently joined GLENOAIRN. 163 by a French family, consisting of parents, two daughters, and a son of tender years — acquaintances of a day whom tlie Glen- cairns had casually picked up. But Duke Mayburne did not separate from the party. All together they walked up the cliff, to *' the little grey church on the windy hill," as Duke, who had quotations from ancient and modern poets at his fiiigers' ends, immediately dabbed it. All together they met on the beach again at the second great assembly of the " beauty and the chivalry " of Etretatj i.e., the afternoon bathing, which is, if possible, a more fashionable and regular lounge than the morning bath- ing. Not all together, but three together, Glencairn, Duke, and Luli, they resorted once more to the beach during the sunset m2 164 GLE^^CAIRN. hour wlien the tahh-d-hote was orer ; and secretly two out of the three at least re- joiced that their party was reduced to a trio again, and hoped that the family of agreeable and conversationally inclined foreigners would not find them out in their secluded spot on the now quiet and com- paratively lonely beach, which by morning and afternoon sunlight was so gay. The outlines of the cliffs were clear and bold in this last hour of daylight ; the broad bay lay calm and tranquil ; the sea was deep and shadowy and darkly blue ; soft clouds were floating in the dim azure of the sky ; and all along the horizon the flame of sunset burned. Looking out across the sea to the lurid west, Duke Mayburne began quoting Browning's " Home Thoughts." CLENTAIRX. 165 "Nobly, nobly Cape St. Vincent to the north-west died away ; Sunset ran, one gorgeous blood red, reeking into Cadiz bay; Bluish mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay, In the dimmest north-east distance dawned Gibraltar grand and gray." "Do you know those lines, Lull ?" " No ; whose are they ?" said Luli, all her attention awake, bending towards him with such hushed and eager interest that she needed not to utter any words of ap- preciation. Duke continued — " Here, and here, did England help me! how can /help England, say ! Whoso turns as I this evening turn to God to praise and pray. While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa !" " Browning !" said Glencairn, quietly, in a matter-of-fact way. " Those fiery sunsets always recall those lines to me," observed Duke. 166 GLENCAIEN. Lull did not say a word ; her cheek was resting on her hand ; and her large, soft eyes gazed out pensively over the sea. But Duke knew by some sure instinct that she had listened in rapt attention to every line. Duke Mayburne had a deep musical voice, and did not recite poetry at all badly. "I have seen a sunset like that, only more vivid, off Gibraltar," said Glencairn. " There are some hours that almost make a poet of one in spite of one's self." "It is such hours as those, I fancy," observed Duke, " which account for those occasional incomprehensible successes that occur but once, rockets that blaze and fall. Such influences must be the moving spring of the people who make one hit, write one poem, paint one picture, rise for (;lencairn. 167 once to genius, and then are heard of no more." "I sometimes think that every man is capable of one flight into genius during his life," said Glencairn, meditatively. " The question is, does one true poem make a poet, or one picture an artist ?" " I should fancy," said Luli, half hesitat- ingly, in her soft appealing way, " that if a man can write one good poem, the power of poetry must be in him, even if it can only be developed under certain circum- stances. And if circumstances can once develop that latent power, why should not such circumstances occur again, and again draw it out ?" '' I think Luli has hit upon a truth," said Duke. 16S GLENCAIRN. " I have known the child teach me truths before now," said Glencairn. Luli nestled a little nearer to her father with a caressing smile ; but which of the two men's approval she valued most, who shall say ? The three sat there upon the shore until the fire of sunset had sunk, and paled, and faded away into the dusky mingling of sky and sea, and the young crescent sailed slowly up over the tall cliffs to the left, where the Aiguille Rock stood out distinct among the grey shades. Then they walked together along the terrace and lounged through the Casino and turned homewards. When she had bid good-night to her father and shut herself into her room that night, Luli opened her window, and leant upon the sill, looking out at the dark sea GLENCAIEN. IGO and the dark sky, and the black, moveless masses on the beach that looked like strange, shapeless black animals sleeping, but were only the fishermen's covered and roofed-in boats. She waited there silently, with the cool sweet sea-breeze breathing peace and serenity round her, and fanning her cheek with a soft and sleepy caress, until a red spark brightened out of the darkness and a shadow fell upon the ground just under her window. Duke had mentioned to her casually that he walked that path with his nightly cigar. She did not know that she wished to see him pass ; she did not think about ana- l^'sing her feelings; she had not asked herself why she leant so long out of her window this night ; but there she remained 170 GLENCAIRN. until that tall dark figure drew near. He looked up, and recognized her in the flickering lamplight, though not more clearly and instantly than she recognized him through the shadows. He stood a moment, and raised his brigandish-looking hat as he looked up at her window. Then she drew slowly back, so gradually that her white figure seemed to melt away in the hazy lights and shades of her room ; and that night she leant from her window no more, nor peered into the passing shadows aeain. 171 CHAPTER VIII. " It was a sad and happy time, you say ; Yet sweet as is an ever -changing tune ! Ah me ! the close of that still July day When with the sun's excess earth seemed to swoon, And we together wandered on the shore, Half feeling we should wander there no more !" RIarston. rriHE suu of another day is setting be- -*- hind the sea at Etretat. The moon, that was a few evenings ago a pale crescent, will be almost a full orb when she rises this night. The Glencairns are sitting on the shore watching the sunset again ; it has become a resrular custom with them : they never miss a sunset now, be it fair or 1 i 2 GLENCAIEN. cloudy; and they never sit watching it alone. This night the sea is clear as a mirror and calm as a lake ; the real cliffs standing up bold and dusky against the pale dreamy blue sky are scarcely more clearly outlined than the reflected grey cliffs that dip down in the serene grey sea. Away on the horizon the azure of the sky melts into gold and deepens into rose ; the great burning sun has sunk in a blaze of light just now ; the brilliance of the western colours is paling, and crimson, gold, and azure are blending into a harmony lovelier than their vanished and contrasted glories. The family Delamotte have joined the Glencairns to-night ; they are seated on a semi-circle of chairs in a sociable group. Luli is at the extremity of the semi-circle, GLEXCAIEX. 173 having purposely choseu her place ou the outskirts of the group. She wears, iu lieu of hat or bonnet, a pink and white woollen square pinned over her head and falling to her shoulders ; for Etretat (in these the early days of its popularity) is primitive in its manners and customs, and allows startling liberty iu vagaries of costume. Gentlemen prome- nade the terrace in high conical straw hats adorned with rosettes ; a square red or blue beret is the fashionable morning wear ; and ladies discard hats in favour of hoods, of all varieties of shape and in all the colours of the rainbow, whenever the spirit so moves them. Duke has told Luli that the light fleecy woollen kerchief she wears is far more becoming and picturesque than a hat, and Luli studies the picturesque 174 GLEN CAIRN. accordingly. She is leaning back in her wooden chair ; her head slightly turned to join in the half French, half English con- versation, her hands lying idly in her lap ; she is fair and fresh and lovely in the fading light ; the sunset is beautiful ; they are all saying how charming it is ; and Luli is very enthusiastic in her expressions of delight ; but she is not happy ; she is rest- less and disturbed; her eyes are inclined to tears ; and lier heart is beating un- evenly. Foolish child ! why is this ? Is she not young and beautiful, with a life full of limitless hopes and possibilities ? — is she not at this loveliest hour of the day look- ing on the loveliest scene the place affords ? — is not Duke Mayburne in the same vil- lage, probably now not many hundred yards OLENCAIRN\ 175 off? supreme unreasonableness and folly of the dawn of Love ! he is not by her side just at this moment; and some- thing may possibly have happened to pre- vent his coming ; and it is a whole long half -hour later than he has ever been be- fore ! And for these mighty and sufficing causes the child's heart is full of sadness and disappointment. This is their last evening but one ! and if he should fail to-night, they will see only one more sunset together ! and she feels miserable at the thought. Another half -hour has past ; and the sunset has faded ; the stars are coming out shyly one by one; and Luli is su- premely happy, for Duke is by her side. Naturally he takes his seat next Luli ; and as she has chosen her place on the ex- 176 GLENCAIRN. treme edge of the social circle naturally they two soon drift away out of the gene- ral conversation into a tete-a-tete of their own. " Have you finished your picture of the little grey church on the windy hill?" '' No ; not yet. I have been haunted all day by a wild desire to do Hiawatha,— sail- ing into the purple vapours," you know ; these sunsets have suggested the idea to me so forcibly. I would set to work at it im- mediately ; but that fellow Noakes has done it already. He is always getting the start of me in ideas." " Noakes ? Yes^ I know him. What do you think of him ? " " Landscape — good," pronounced Duke. "Figures — fashion-plate. Did you ever see mortal woman with such shoulders GLENCAIEN. 177 and waists as all Noakes's girls have ? " " I don't admire his girls much, certain- ly. He does not look much like an artist. I used to meet him very often in Rome." *'In Kome ! Happy Luli, to have seen Bome ! and yet I do not know that I am not more to be envied ; for my first sight of Rome is before me still. 1 hope to go this Winter." " This Winter," said Luli, with a totally unconscious accent of disappointment. " We shall be in London all this Winter, I think." " Why don't you winter in Italy ?" asked Duke ; " don't you hate London fogs and frosts? Think what delightful times we might have all together m Rome !" VOL. I. N 178 GLENCAIEN. " How I sHould like it ! I want to do Rome again ; I am afraid I did not fully appreciate it. My taste is so -uncultivated, you see ; I always want to be talked to about things — " " And told what to admire ?" he re- sponded. "All right; come to Eome, and I'll tell you where to be enthusiastic." " I wish we were going to winter in Italy ; but I'm afraid there is not the slightest chance, " said Luli, who w^as too simple and unconscious to disguise a tone of re- gret. This very simplicity of hers slightly mis- led Duke Mayburne, who was more pre- pared for a woman's saying what she did not mean than what she did. Luli seemed to him now, except that she was taller and prettier and better cultivated, exactly the GLENCAIEN. 179 same simple, affectionate, confiding cliild that slie liad been eight years before. Tbej bad been early playfellows, and now were very good friends, with just that tinge of romance colouring their friendship which generally forms an element in friend- ship between the opposite sexes in their youth. Lull was so utterly free from self- analysis and self-consciousness that there was in her tone and manner none of the coy coquetry, nor fitful reserve, nor caprice, nor shyness, which Duke Mayburne would have well understood. As it was, he did not realise how rapidly the old childish friendship on her side was deepening and warming, and rising into love. " Let us walk to the Mairie and see if the aborigines are dancing their war-dance to-nig:ht," he suo-grested, after the last n2 180 GLENCAIEN. golden beam of sunset liad faded and the moon had risen, and was silvering the tiled roofs of the little village. The motion was carried by unanimous vote ; and away to the Place de la Mairie accordingly the whole party directed their steps, that being the spot where the natives were wont to hold their revels, and where the visitors occasionally resorted to look on curiously, as if on the gambols of " war- ranted harmless " members of the Comanche tribe. The natives were evidently holding high festivity this night. Men and women, old and young, were dancing round hand-in- hand in a great circle to the music of their own voices. All were singing, some out of tune, some (but not so many) in tune. One big fellow, in a loose blue blouse, was GLENCAIEN. 181 apparently tlie leader of the melody, aud the ruling spirit of the dance. The circle of dancers whirled around in perfect rhythm with their song, now singing softly and circling slowly, slackening as their voices sank until they were moving at a languid walk, then treading the measure faster as the song rose higher, till the up- roar of the chorus filled all the Place, and the rush of the dance grew fast and furious. Some of the dancers, exhausted, loosed hands, and dropped out of the circle, which united again instantly as they fell back from it ; fresh recruits kept joining ; the circle increased and increased as it whu'led around, till, at the fastest rush of the dance, and the highest tumult of the song, it broke and spread all over the Place (causing the nearest of the spectators 182 GLENCAIRN. to beat a hasty retreat), and men and women, still singing, caught hands again, and fell spontaneously into smaller rings, which, like bubble circles in the water, spread and spread, till all were mingled into the one great whole ; and then the entire thing began again. It reminded Luli somehow of the Witches' Dance in Macbeth, only, instead of the blue fires of the cauldron, the scene was lit by a full golden moon, pouring down a flood of light upon the leaping figures that wheeled and whirled around as wildly as Indians in a war-dance. In the shadows of the sparse fringe of trees that border the Place, the small and select audience stood looking on at this new hallei divertissement, with the open ground for a stage, the twinkling light of the GLENCAIEN. 183 Mairie for footlights, and a first-rate move- able moon overhead. Duke happened to remark upon the suggestiveness of a Red Indian festival in the scene ; the observation was by no means original — indeed, it was the stock remark that all the audience were bound to make in turn ; and Glencairn responded, " So I've heard people say — who never saw a Bed Indian !" " I never did, except in a show, and I fear he was merely painted with red ochre," admitted Duke good-humouredly. "/never saw even a sham Indian," said Luli. " Papa ! you ought to have brought me home one, stuffed !" " Shall I buy you a native here ? a live one, to entertain your friends at the next London evening party by a specimen of the aboriginal dance ?" 184 GLENOATEN. " Oh, wliy doesn't somebody introduce La Ronde into civilized society ?" exclaimed Luli enthusiastically. " What a delightful change it would be from the everlasting quadrilles and Lancers !" "And how perfectly in keeping with black cut-away coats and tarlatan trains and white gloves those graceful antics would be — such as that gentleman is per- forming now !" observed Duke with an amused smile, indicating a burly broad- shouldered peasant who, shouting at the top of his stentorian voice something about " Vive la jeunesse — vive I'amour !" was leaping half his own height into the air and cutting a series of truly remarkable capers. Presently Glencairn suggested that, if Luli "had had enough of it," he was amply content ; and they all three walked GLENCAIRN. 185 back to the hotel and bade each other good night in the courtyard. Luli went to her room and sat by her window as usual. For this too had become a regular custom. As surely as evening after evening they met on the beach by sunset, so night after night, Luli sat watching at her window till Duke passed on his nightly smoke and ramble. She never had very long to wait ; but had it been lono; she would have watched and waited still, and deemed the evening incomplete if it was not crowned and finished by that momentary glimpse of his tall figure pacing along the shore. Duke knew of course on whose window-sill the white figure always leant, silent as a picture; he always looked up, waved his hand, and smiled as he went by; it was pleasant to know she would be there look- 186 GLENCAIRN. ing down ; but lie would not liave missed much in the evening if on passing he had looked up at an empty window, — the frame without the picture- — and seen no candle glimmering on golden hair. He would not have wondered, and would have slept as sound as usual. The happy " Days of summer-coloured seas, Days of many melodies," went by ; the last morning of the Glencairns' stay at Etretat came. It was a stormy morning, of constant wind and capricious showers. Glencairn, Duke, and Luli made their way, under united umbrellas, in the teeth of the wind, to the Casino, where Glencairn resorted to the reading-room, and Luli looked wistfully towards the sea. GLENCAIEX. 187 " You'll get blown away if you go on the' beach; you had better sit down under shelter," said her father. " I don't want to miss going down to the sea this last morning," pleaded Luli. " Let me take Luli along the beach," said Duke eagerly. " Trust me; I will not let her be blown away into the waves." "All right," said Glencairn carelessly, nodding assent, without looking up from the columns'of the " Moniteur," but calling after her as she hastened to avail herself of the permission, " Keep your cloak wrapt close round you, Luli ; it's cold." Duke offered Luli his arm, and they made their way together across the terrace and down on to the beach. It was the hour and the place for th& morning bathing — but bathers there were 188 GLENCAIRN. none. The haigneurs, those hardy old sea- dogs, who spend the best part of their days in the water, teaching novices to swim and encouraging timid bathers to plunge bravely, were lounging on the shore, their " occupation gone," and would have been in dry clothes, for a marvel, if it had not been for the drenching spray. The big waves are plunging like hungry wild beasts upon the stones, with a roar as if furious that no prey should be offered to them. Now and then they seem to pause for a moment before breaking, and you catch a glimpse of a cave of deep emerald roofed with white-fretted foam for just the space of a flash, before the emerald vault curves and crashes in, and a storm of snowy surf bursts on the beach. These green, deep hollows of the wave, GLEXCAIEX. 189 that only exist for the moment, remiud one strangely of the croucb of a beast of prey, followed by the leap and the crash and the roar. The horizon is piled up with thunder- ous-looking clouds ; thick mists of cloud are coming down upon the cliffs ; there is not a bit of blue peeping out in sky or sea. The white horses are galloping shorewards one after another, tossino^ their foaming: manes; the spray is flying on the shore, and beats into the faces of Duke and Luli as they stand together by the sea. "It is not the least good trying to put the umbrella up," says Luli, laughing at Duke's endeavour to open that implement, and at the games which the wind, like a tricksy sprite, plays with it meanwhile. " It does not rain ; and I like the spray." 190 GLENCAIEN. " I believe you are quite glad that this is our last morning !" observes Duke, look- ing down at her bright face. " The very elements are testifying their distress in un- mistakeable language; and you are as bright as yesterday's sun was !" " Because yesterday's sun ivas bright ; and we have had all the brightness, and it seems that we are taking the sunshine and the Summer away with us," she replies — and adds, after a moment, with truly feminine consistency, "But you needn't remind me of its being the last day." " Here is something to divert you from the reflection successfully," responded Duke. " Behold ! a heroic bather comes to dare the dangers of the deep !" The announcement is true, and a general thrill of interest runs through the few GLENCAIEN. 191 faitliful habitues of the batliing-quarter of the beach, whom not even the wind and showers have kept from their daily resort, as this interesting object appears. All eyes are turned upon the hero, who has issued in full costume de bain from his cabin, and is marching grandly down the beach. He is stout ; he is tall ; he is bald ; he is of imposing presence, and appears not at all unconscious of his proud position as the unique braver of the elements at that hour. Luli, amongst others, watches him with great interest. He beckons one of the hardy old sea- dogs, who hastens to respond to the sum- mons. Taking the brawny hand of help extended to him, the hero strides valiantly towards the stormy ocean. Leisurely he marches forwards until the surf reaches 192 GLENCAIEN. nearly up to liis knees, and then stands still. Will he leap forward and dive under the next wave ? The retreating surf leaves him standing high and dry. Composedly as one selecting a bed of slumber he lies down upon the hard stones. The next moment a wave breaks, and the surf rushes up and covers him, and disrespectfully rolls him over and over like a cork. The hero evidently does not like it; he splutters and scrambles to his feet wildly, clutching the helping hand of the bathing man, and takes up his position a little farther from the sea, where he sits down solemnly in Turkish fashion, and apparently enjoys his bath very much, every retreating wave leaving him seated on the glistening beach, alone in his glory, and e^ery returning wave rushing around his shoulders, until one GLENCAIRN. 103 mischievous great wave, plunging on ahead of its fellows, maliciously surges over the crown of his head and flings him down, and leaves him grovelling on hands and knees, and rolling over and over in his haste to roll shorewards out of the way of the next wave. " This was the noblest Roman of them all !" quotes Duke. Luli is covering her face with her hands, in convulsions of laughter and anxiety to screen her mirth fi'om its object, who, in his struggle to escape the devouring ele- ments, has rolled nearly to her feet. " Oh !" she says with a sigh of exhaus- tion from pure merriment, "how proud he was of his prowess when he went in !" " How are the mighty fallen !" adds Duke. VOL. I. O 194 GLENCAIRX. " I hope he isn't Enghsh !" observes Luli in some alarm, for they have been speak- ing in voices by no means lowered. " English !" replies Duke scornfully and patriotically- " An Englishman roll about in six inches of water like a porpoise, and catch convulsively at a Frenchman's hand to save himself !" " I shall not have any fat French hero to make me laugh to-morrow, nor any English patriot to laugh with me," she remarks half dolorously, half playfully. "And to-night no sunset ! and our place on the beach will know us no more ; and the waiter at the Casino will watch for the light of our countenances in vain !" They remain, chattering and laughing like two children, until heavy drops of rain begin to fall, and then start in a great GLENCAIRN. 195 hurry to return to Glencairn, in case Lull should be deemed to have encroached on the permission given her. The wind and the rain beat in their faces as they make their way in a slanting line along the beach ; the spray leaps after them in playful showers, as if to prove how^ far it can reach. The umbrella is hope- less; the frolicsome wind turns it inside out, and it has to be delegated to the use of a walking-stick. Lull's cloak fla^Ds to and fro, and tries to take unto itself wings. She has no hat, only her pretty white kerchief pinned securely to her head ; stray ends of golden hair are blown loose from under it and flutter like flickering sun- beams over her dark cloak. The fresh air and the dashing spray have given a bril- liant colour to her fair oval cheeks ; her o2 196 GLENCAIRN. eyes are sparkling, and a smile liovering round lier lips, as, clinging to Duke's arm, she picks her way with light dainty steps over the rough wet stones. Duke looks down and is struck by a new sense of her beauty. He never saw her look so pretty before. " We breast the wind and weather to- gether bravely, don't we?" he remarks. Then a sudden idea, a fancy rather than a definite thought, occurs to him ; and he looks at her more intently, and says dreamily and vaguely, "Who knows ?" He would probably under similar circum- stances have said the same to any pretty woman, and have forgotten it. But Luli at these words blushes to such a vivid and burning crimson, and such a startled, sur- GLENCAIRN. 197 prised, suddenly conscious look flushes over her face before she can avert it from his gaze, that he re eq embers long afterwards that beautiful startled blush and its simple and altogether insufficient cause. When he bids good-bj-e to the Glencairns that day (for his road lies to London and theirs to Brittany), it is to Glencairn he speaks, but at Luli he looks, as he says, " I shall see you in London, as soon as you return." BOOK III. IN CALM WATERS. 201 CHAPTER IX. " ^\'hat followed then? What has been done And said, and writ, and read and sung ? "\\'hat will be writ and read again, "While love is life and life remain ?" Joaquin Miller. FT is far ou in October when the Gleu- cairns return to London. They take up their residence again at the quiet home of the Misses Potter, where there are some little changes now, but not important ones. The busy spinster-sisters are growing greyer, and the brightness of Miss Chris- tiana's keen eyes is shaded by a pair of gold-rimmed spectacles. 202 GLENOAIEN. Two of the oldest of the Ancients of the select little circle are deceased, and their place is filled by a gentleman of compara- tively juvenile years ; he is only sixty, and gives very little trouble, because he habitually dines out, is not asthmatic nor rheumatic nor gouty, and is not in the habit of demanding midnight mustard- plasters and beef -tea, as has been the wont of his predecessors. Mrs. Boyd lives and thrives still, still sighs over sinners from the height of unfallen virtue, still regards Luli as the child for whom she used to dress dolls, wonders that " those foreign countries don't spoil the child," and still points to Glencairn as a " reformed charac- ter " — when Glencairn and his proud fond daughter are safely out of hearing. The maiden- sisters are glad to have the GLENC.URX. 203 Glencairns back ; the presence of the Glen- cairns means good-humour and glad service of the servants, who see the gleam of bright half-sovereigns in prospect — means daintier dishes than are usual on the table freely ordered and liberally compensated for — means generous glasses of old port and dry sherry lavishly outpoured — means boxes for theatres, carriage drives, and concert-tickets — means also, far over and above all these, the bright influence of a young, fresh, frank-hearted girl they love. Glencairn does not object to abiding under the roof of the Misses Potter; he is not only free there, but master there; the habits and customs of the household, " according to his humour, ebb and flow !" and Luli would not be happy to be in London, and away from her dear aunts. 204 GLENCAIRX. The Cravens are in town, just returned from an Autumn trip to Brussels. Duke Mayburne is in town, not able yet to get away from London east winds to blue Italian skies. Naturally, as tlie Autumn days wear on, Duke becomes a frequent visitor at the Glencairns' ; and as between the Cravens and the Glencairns there is constant communion, the young artist drifts into a pleasant social intimacy with both families. Kate and Luli, only daughters and spoilt darlings both, are friends, not of the dearest and closest, but pleasant companions, who get on well together, and are perhaps more quietly and undemonstratively loyal to each other than some gushing bosom confidantes. Kate Craven has g-rown a bloominof-, livelv blonde, a trifle fast, without much depth or GLENCAIEN. 205 intensity, but warm-hearted, and without an atom of harm or malice in the whole of her honest, candid nature. She proclaims, with unblushing frankness, that " really, Duke Mayburne ought to be ticketed * Dangerous !' he is so awfully handsome that all the girls will go falling in love with him !" Duke flirts with Kate a little in an openly playful and meaningless way ; he does not flirt with Luli, but treats her in the tone of an old and admiring and privi- leged friend and adopted brother. In spite, however, of the supposed abso- lute fraternity of their friendship, it some- how does not please him to see Luli ap- parently absorbed (for really absorbed in anyone but himself she never is), in any other man's conversation. At a Christmas party at the Cravens', — 206 GLENCAIKN. where there are assembled a curiously mixed set of people, those who have been invited from choice, and those who have been in- vited from duty, or from old association — Duke feels unreasonably indignant with a young man who catches Luli and kisses her under the mistletoe. "Do you like this sort of thing?" he saj'-s to her aside, with a look of eloquent disgust at the object of his indignation, who is at this moment endeavouring to entice Kate Craven beneath the mystic shrub. " What sort of thing?" asks Luli, glanc- ing up half puzzled, and following his eye to see what it is that arouses his dis- taste. " Those liberties to be taken by a little snob like that — a walking advertisement of GLENCAIEX. 207 bair-oiland cheap jewelry!" observes Duke, in reference to tlie Lothario, who was then imprinting a hurriedly-snatched salute on Kate's cheek, and who certainly had not stinted pomade upon his curly head, or rings upon his fingers, or studs upon his breast. Luli laughed ; she had been a little un- comfortable and annoyed for the moment by the gentleman's demonstration ; but it would take a great deal more than a Christmas joke to make Luli Glencairn angry. " It was tolerably cool of him certainly ; and I have only seen him twice in my life," she replied to Duke's observation. " I suppose you women like coolnesSj" he remarked, rather dissatisfiedly. ''Not that kind of coolness," she answered 208 GLENCAIRN. more gravely; ''and as for that tiresome young man, I hate him ! Doesn't he re- mind you of the ' oiled and curled Assyrian bull ?' in Maud, you know ?" While this critical and confidential aside Tvas going on, the fun beneath the mistle- toe was waxing fast and furious ; the girls were uttering little shrieks ; the young men were flocking round. Mr. Craven appeared upon the scene of action, dragging with him a by no means reluctant victim — an old gentleman, whom Lull had noticed, and who, indeed, had attracted several people's attention during the evening by his "jolly" laugh, and a sort of simplicity and unworldliness of manner, combined with a gallant and com- plimentary tendency, and a devotion to the younger ladies, which he did not seem to GLEN CAIRN. 209 suspect could be less welcome to them now than in the days of his youth. This old gentleman his host now brought under the mistletoe, and announcing, " Ladies, now's your chance !" left him plante la. The ancient conqueror — who was bald and yellow and wrinkled, and thoroughly unattractive, and thoroughly unconscious of his unattractiveness, — evidently nothing doul)ting of his reception, looked around smiling ; the girls all hung back ; some sriofsrled. Luli feared the old gentleman's feelings would be hurt. It seemed to her that it must be humiliating for him to stand there, waiting in vain, the centre of all eyes ; and one girl's unconcealed giggle sounded sillily heartless and offensive. Luli could not bear to see any one humili- VOL. 1. p 210 GLENCAIEN. ated or sliglited. She stepped forward from lier place, and timidly and blashingly went to the old man's side and saluted the withered cheek. Duke looked at her with a new light of admiration. There was something in her impulsive movement so freshly girlish and innocent — her slight figure had flitted past so softly and lightly, and with such a shy, flower-like grace she had lifted her golden head to the old grey head, and then drooped back, and cast a timid, startled, fawn-like glance around, — that her loveliness struck the young artist suddenly like a revelation. His admiration was succeeded by a scowl as an eager aspirant after the mistletoe honours darted forward and caught her, still under the mistletoe, and brushed her cheek with his lips ; and a general laugh GLENCAIRN. 211 and scLifUc and scramble ensued, from which Luli returned blushing far redder, and looking far more discomposed than before. " It was too bad of them ; they knew I did not mean that," she said, half com- plainiugly. It was characteristic of Luli that she was talking to Duke Mayburne in her usual confiding, friendly way for a great part of the evening, but took the greatest care never, when he was by her side, to drift with him a step in the direction of the mistletoe, and rested in the most confident certainty that he would not endeavour to entrap her thither, or catch her unawares, as others had done. It is e([ually charac- teristic of her unconscious influence over k Duke, that he made no attempt to kiss r 2 212 GLEXCAIRN'. Lull, although, when she was out of the way in the adjoining room, he availed himself freely of the licence of the season in regard to other young ladies. This abstinence from the usual Christmas privilege — which, at a party where general imformality and freedom and " jollity " prevailed, Duke might so naturally and easily have claimed from Luli — did not promise well for the endurance of the fraternal character of their friendship. When a man, not generally over scru- pulous, avoids a harmless and ordinary and allowable familiarity with a woman, it is time for him to look to the safety of his heart. The friendship between Duke and Luli — for friendship on his side it might even yet be called — had, however, no opportunity GLENCAIEN. 213 for any further developments that Winter, for Duke went away to Rome before the New Year was many days old. The Glencairns remained in England. The father taking a fancy into his head that the London "Winter did not agree with Luli, took her and Miss Priscilla down to the Isle of Wight, installed them there in comfortable apartments, and spent as much of his time with them as possible. He was obliged to be a good deal in London, be- cause at this time he occupied a post of some responsibility in a company which was then paying high dividends, and which possessed boundless hopes, limitless prospects and possibilities, and a limited capital. Luli was rather dull sometimes, when she had been left some days alone with 214 GLENCAIEN. her aunt ; she had nothing to do but read and sketch and embroider, and talk of her father, and think of Duke Mayburne, and feel — what she would have thought it wickedly ungrateful to put into words even to herself — that there were diversions in life more pleasant than walking "by the sad sea waves " with Miss Priscilla. However, she was fond of her kind, soft- hearted aunt ; and her beloved father came down as often as he could ; and she had her artist friend over the sea to dream of, and exalt in- her " maiden meditation " into an ideal hero. So she was happy enough in a quiet way. Once Kate Craven came down to spend a week with Luli ; and Luli was glad to have Kate's bright, lively com- panionship. The rainy evening jDrevious to this GLENCAIRN. 215 arrival had seemed very dull and dreary to Luli, as she and her aunt sat one on each side of the fire, and one knitted and the other embroidered, and the sea moaned in the distance, and the rain pattered on the window-panes. The next evening was rainy and windy too ; but Kate Craven's ringing laugh, her bright blue eyes and blooming cheeks, her clear, high, merry voice, would have diffused a sunshine through the room, even had any more sun- shine than Glencairn's presence been need- ed there. His was not apparently a very enlivening presence, as he sat lounging back in his arm-chair, the reading-lamp drawn close to his elbow, his eyes bent on the newspaper in his hand ; but wherever he was was always home and comfort and peace to Luli, whose loving nature respond- 216 GLENCAIBN. ed to his tenderness with all the uplooking, trusting devotion of her loyal little heart. He was reading his paper ; the girls were chatting in a confidential, homely way ; Miss Priscilla was knitting, and occasionally putting in a word. " By-the-by, Kate," asked Luli, casually, ^' what has become of that pretty little girl I met once, long ago, at your house — a little girl you had picked up at Brighton ? I recollect I took quite a fancy to her." " Little girl ? Brighton ?" repeated Kate, vaguely. " Oh, yes ! to be sure ! little Zora Brown. " Oh, I haven't seen her for more than a year ; she wrote to me when I was in Paris, and I stupidly lost her address. I really must look her up." " She was very pretty, if I remember," observed Luli. " How is she ? What is she doing ? An orphan, isn't she ?" GLENCAIRX. 217 " Yes, poor cliild ; some old relation of hers let lodgings at Brighton, and there I picked her up. I hope she is getting on well ; I don't want to lose sight of little Zora ; the last I heard from her she was studying music professional!}' — goi^g to teach singing or something, I suppose. She had an extremely sweet voice." " It must be very hard for a young girl all alone in the world to get on," remarked Luli, sympathetica^. " Yes," agreed Kate, with a half repent- ant little sigh, " poor Zora ! no money ! no parents ! scarcely any friends ! hard lines, isn't it ? I often wish I could have done more for Zora ; she was such a dar- ling girl. I do wish I'd helped her more, in some way or other." " Very often our good deeds stop at 218 GLENCAIEN. wishes. I can think of so many things I ought to have done and didn't do," said Miss Priscilla. "Not very many, I should think," ob- served Glencairn, putting down his paper, and answering Miss Priscilla's remark with a kindly smile. " And it is better so than to think of the bad things you have done,, and might have avoided doing. There are plenty of such in most men's lives ; and the worst of it is that they wouldn't avoid them if they could at the time ; and having eaten the fruit and tasted the ashes, they then cry out upon the tempter and revile the apple-tree." "Is it such a very bad world, papa ?" asked Luli thoughtfully. " Read and see !" he replied. " Here is a slight sample of the world of to-day, — and GLENCAIEN. 219 the world of to-morrow will probably be the same," he continued, skimming the columns of the paper and reading aloud — "Barbarous Assault" — " Tragic Death ot a Burglar "— " Wife-kicking "—" Horrible Murder" — Shocking Cruelty to a Dog " — " Attempted Fratricide." I don't know that it is such a bad world," he added medita-- tively, " but it is an inconsistent world. Human nature is inconsistent, root and branch ; and you cannot train it into con- sistency in either good or evil." " How do you mean ?" asked Kate. " Simply that no one living was ever all bad or all good. It is about the most im- portant truth in life, and generally the last truth that people — women especially — ever find out. Now look here, this murderer !" laying his hand upon the newspaper and '220 GLENCAIRN. alluding to a case they had previously spoken of at tea-time. "Do you suppose this man was what you call a thoroughly bad man throughout all his life ? Do you suppose he had not affections — that he had not innocent hopes — blameless pleasures — good impulses sometimes r He had borne an excellent character for kindness and general good conduct hitherto." " The black spot did not show ; but it was there," said Luli. " The black spot was there ; exactly so," agreed Glencairn. "That is the very point ! One evil trait marred the whole character; but the character was not all evil. Then there is that fellow in France who got off with ' extenuating circum- stances ' the other day. He was a ruffian certainly ; but I make no doubt he had GLEXCAIRX. 221 some soft spot iQ his heart for some old mother or little child or faithful friend " " T do not believe he had any T saidLuli decisively. " That wretch, you know, Kate," she added explanatorily, " who murdered the old man and his wife for their money." "The brute! did he get off?" asked Kate. " Now you will observe," said Glencairn, " that Luli, who is habitually the gentlest and most charitable of creatures, has no mercy whatever for these men, whose crimes jar upon the whole tone of her nature, and whose temptations she never could comprehend. I believe that she, who doesn't even like to kill a wasp, would sign the warrant for their destruction body and soul without any hesitation." 222 GLENCAIRN. " I would have any amount of mercy on their souls,'' said Luli, " but no mercy on the life in them which they did not respect in others." Glencairn smiled, affectionately as re- garded Luli, but by no means assentingly to her proposition. " Too much weight is attached in general in this country to the mere act of destruction of human life," he observed. " We all must die. The soldier kills his enemy in battle. We have other enemies sometimes than our foes on the battle-field. There are injuries more cruel than death which may be inflicted with impunity. The mere act of taking life does not of itself constitute crime. We may do it under certain circumstances with a stainless con- science." GLENCAIIIX. 223 " Goodness me, Mr. Glencairn !" exclaim- ed Kate, opening her bright bkie eyes wide. " And you talk as coolly as if you quite knew all about it too! — as if you had experienced how it feels to take human life, with or without a stainless conscience!" "It is not such a marvellously uncom- mon experience in the kind of life I lived for many years," he replied quietly; "but such experiences are not for you to com- prehend. Don't imagine, Katie, that I have been recommending manslaughter as a new and fashionable diversion for noblemen and gentlemen," he added with his quietly amused and singularly sweet smile ; "I have merely been endeavouring to persuade you that there is generally a white spot in the blackest sheep." 224 GLENCAIEN. . ''Well, I will try to think so, papa," said Lull, nestling closer to his side with a pretty caressing gesture. " Your pater is awfully nice, Luli," ob- served Kate in freely confidential chat when the two girls were alone ; "he is all that's kind and charming, and yet, do you know, I should be tremendously afraid of offending him, if I'd much to do with him. Isn't he rather dreadful sometimes ?" " Papa dreadful ! Never," said Luli, quite amused at the idea. " He is as good as gold ! Sometimes he gets angry — into quiet rages, you know, with people who offend him, but he has really never spoken a cross word to me." " Never boxed your ears or anything ?" pursued Kate curiously. Luli laughed outright as she assured GLENCAIRN. 225 Kate tliat he had not adopted this course of education ; but Kate rejoined, "Well, he is a darling, 3'ou know; but he looks as if he wouldn't think much of beating anyone." " Kate, you are too absurd !" cried Luli through another burst of laughter. " Do you suppose he keeps a rod in pickle for me, or that I am kept on my good behaviour by fear of getting a black eye ?" When Kate returned to London, Luli, accustomed as she was to travelling and change, might have felt dull again, if it had not been for a talisman that arrived from over the sea — a letter with a Roman post- mark, addressed to Miss Glencairn, which her father brouo^ht down from London in his pocket one day, without suspecting that it was about the most precious present VOL. I. Q 226 GLENCAIEN. he could have brought her. It was from Duke Mayburne, of course ; it was only an ordinary letter written in the " old friend and brother" character, but in it he gave her a lively and detailed sketch of his life in E-ome, and said that " he should see her in May." On which promise Luli lived while the months of March and April wore slowly away. Early May saw the Glencairns back in London, and Miss Priscilla re-united to her sister, and the whole establishment assem- bled again in the old house near the E-egent's Park. Late May sees Luli watch- ing and waiting day after day for the one visitor whose voice in the hall she longs to hear, and leading in her secret heart a kind of Mariana in the Moated Grange existence. On the first of June there comes a ring GLENCAIKX. 227 at the bell, a well-kuowu step and voice, an opening and shutting of tlie drawing- room door, and a totally unnecessary announcement to Luli in the parlour, "Mr. Mayburne, if you please, Miss." Luli enters the room, looking rather pale, but very pretty, especially when a soft colour suffuses her face as Duke presses her hand, and her eyes droop beneath the glad, admiring smile with which he welcomes her. Miss Priscilla and old Mrs. Boyd are there ; Miss Priscilla takes great interest in hearing " all about " Rome ; and Mrs. Boyd inquu'es, in her mild, piping voice, if it isn't very uncom- fortable to be all among those dreadful priests, if many efforts are made to pervert the unwary tourists, and if there is any fear now of being walled-up alive in a q2 228 GLENCAIEN. monastery? Duke makes himself agreeable, as in duty bound, to the old ladies ; be does not talk much to Luli, and Luli is very silent, sitting quietly listening to bis voice in a state of passive bliss. Glencairn and Miss Christiana come in ; Duke is invited to stay to dinner, and does not refuse the invitation. Shortly before dinner the party break up gradually, and disappear one by one, on cares of toi- lette bent. Miss Christiana and Miss Pris- cilla don stiff black silk dresses, that could very well stand erect without their wearers ; old Mrs. Boyd adorns her scanty grey locks with a marvellous triumph of mil- linery, all lace and blue ribbons. But long before any of these toilettes are completed, Luli has hastened through her apparelling, and is down with Duke Mayburne in the drawing-room. GLENCAIRN. 229 "White is her favourite wear, and she knows Duke likes her in white ; so she has hurried on her freshest white muslin dress, and snooded her hair with delicate green ribbons, and tied her best emerald locket round her neck. She is so purely fair that the combination of green and white be- comes her well ; she looks like a lily in it — not a tall, stately garden lily, with its firm, carven marble petals, but a delicate, drooping, fair, and fragile lily of the valley. Duke, as a young man and an artist, is naturally far from insensible to her attrac- tion. He really doubts just at this mo- ment whether ever any olive-skinned southern beauty, with the warmth of Italian suns on her cheek, and the depths of Italian passion in her eyes, can equal this pure English lily. 230 GLENCAIRN. " Well, Luli, and how has everything been going on with you these five months ?" he inquires, comprehensively. " Just as usual. The Isle of "Wight was rather monotonous after a time, and I am glad to be back in London." " And there is no news ?" Then he adds, on an impulse, half lightly and half seriously, looking at her with more intent- ness, " Have you fallen in love with any fellow, Luli?" "No," replies Luli, frankly, blushing crimson. ''No? I'm glad of that," he says, lowering his voice a little. Here Miss Priscilla enters, and Luli, with the histrionic talent that even the frankest and most guileless girls suddenly develop sometimes, greets her with a GLENCVIEN. 2ol sweet smile, and looks remarkably placid and innocent, as tlie tell-tale blush fades slowly from lier cheek. 232 CHAPTER X. "All thoughts, all passions, all delights — Whatever stirs this mortal frame — All are but ministers ofLove, And feed his sacred flame. " She listened with a flitting blush, With downcast eyes and modest grace, And she forgave me that I gazed Too fondly on her face. " I calmed her fears, and she was calm. And told her love with virgin pride : And so I won my Genevieve — My bright and beauteous bride !" Coleridge. rj^HE year wears on from golden June to mild and mellow September. All this Summer season — in London till the GLENCAIRN. 233^ annual migTatiou sets in, and then in Cornwall, and then with closing September in London again — Duke Mayburne and Lnli Glencairn are never apart. At the opera or theatre his handsome curly head is seen between the acts bend- ing over the stall where Luli sits ; at even- ing parties they dance together, and recall in confidential half-whispers the peasants' " Ronde " in the Place de la Mairie, and laugh over Etretat memories together ; in mornings and afternoons Mr. Mayburne's quick double-knock at the door becomes familiar to the handmaiden who attends to the Glencairns' visitors. People begin to notice the young artist's attention to Miss Glencairn ; some say decidedly, " That's a case," and begin to wonder how much ho makes a year ; others observe explana- 234 GLENCAIEN. torily, '' They are very old friends, I be- lieve ; liave known each other from child- liood upwards." When it is discovered that Duke has taken a fortnight's trip down to Cornwall, of which county it is known that Luli and her father are explor- ing the beauties, the interest of all their >common friends deepens ; but by a rare chance of good fortune it happens for once that nobody interferes with premature congratulations or well-meaning leeble jocularity to " Shake in Spring the blossoms Autumn had seen fruit." So all this season Luli is happy, and her heart is lit up with the soft and tender golden light that breaks across the east before the sunrise. And all this season Duke is falling deeper and deeper into love with her. He has not fallen over the preci- GLENCAIRNT. 235 pice head-over-ears down into tlie depths of love at once ; lie has slid almost un- consciously down a gradual incline, and awaked to the certainty that he loves Luli better than he has ever loved any human creature before — better than he can con- ceive the possibility of ever loving anybody else. His circumstances do not at present warrant his rushing into matrimony ; and he reviews his position with as practical and sensible an eye as can be expected from a man in love. He does not intend to make any declaration of his affection — at all events, not yet. He means to wait and work, and make no avowal. But one day, when September has fled, and taken with her the last of the Summer, and October is giving a foretaste of Winter 236 GLENOAIP.N. before the mellow warmtli of tlie Indian Summer shall flood the land, Dnke May- burne's prudent intentions vanish into the air as many prudent intentions do — melt away as suddenly and completely as the witches from Macbeth's sight. It happens thus. Miss Christiana is out. Miss Priscilla is attending to old Mrs. Boyd, who is ailing, and is lying upon the sofa in the drawing-room. Duke and Luli are left alone in the parlour. They have been talking — wandering from one subject to another ; and now there has fallen a silence. Luli is leaning one elbow lightly on the arm of her easy-chair, her hand supporting her head, and her fingers pushed into the wavy coils of her hair. A ray of the October sun gleams upon the frail white GLENCAIRN. 237 fingers and tlie rare golden hair ; her face is partly in shadow, in that soft half-light which lightens beauty and modifies plain- ness ; and her large dreamy eyes are up- turned to Duke in a gentle grave attention as if of listening, though he has finished the observations (on High Art, and the blindness of the English nation to its rules and requirements) which he had been making. Duke looks at her in silence for a few seconds, and then says impetuously, and quite irrelevantly to any subject that had been mentioned before, " I wish you would not look so lovely to- day !" " Why ?" she responds niiively. " Because it's dangerous — because if I look at you longer I shall be led on to say ■' 238 GLENCAIEN. " To say — what ?" she asks as he pauses, and asks it almost in a whisper. " To speak words that would be rash, mad, for me — a poor artist — to say to youT Lull does not shrink away or avert her eyes; and instead of blushing she grows paler, looks a little startled, and her breath comes shorter. Duke feels that he is not repulsed ; he stretches out his hand impul- sively and lays it upon hers ; the colour rises in his cheek, and his large grey eyes light up with a deeper glow than she has ever seen in them before, as they dwell upon her fair face in a gaze that it seems he can never tear away again. Now her eyes droop, and her lips quiver, and she bends shyly and half averts her face from him. He takes her other hand GLENCAIKX. 239 in bis, the hand that was nesthng in her hair; and as he grasps both her slender trembling little hands in his own strong ones, and she bends aside, and " Her head droops as when the lily lies O'ercharged ■with rain,'' there is a contrast between the self-assertion and power of his attitude and the almost humility of his voice ; he looks down on her like a king and pleads to her like a captive as he whispers tenderly, "Luli — darling ! dare I speak?" After all, there are very few words spoken ; but a few suffice. Half an hour has passed, and seems to them a nameless time, elastic enough to comprise a year, and brief enough to be counted as a moment. So little has been said — so much comprehended ! the future^ '240 GLEN CAIRN. tlie vague future for wTiicli tliey have formed no plans, and of which they have scarcely yet said a word, is opening before them in a long and radiant vista of golden sunshine. Duke's arm is round Lull's waist ; he is ruffling up the loosened tresses of hair, smoothing them off her temples ; he bends to kiss the sweet lips that yield so timidly and tremulously to the first caresses they have ever known, — when one of the folding doors leading into the dining-room swings open suddenly and quietly, and Glencairn appears upon the scene, and gazes amazed upon the pretty tableau vivant. Duke and Lull start ; Duke rises up from his chair, turning a shade paler than usual. Luli, all suffused in burning blushes, buries her face in her hands. Glencairn glances GLENCiVIEN. 241 from one to tlio other keenly, his brows knitted into a frown that may either be of intentness, perplexity, or anger. "What does this mean?" he says quietly. " It means, Mr. Glencairn," Duke replies respectfully, but quite firmly, " that I love Luli, and that the temptation to tell her so was stronger than I could withstand." " Is that it ? And what has Luli to say in the matter ?" They cannot tell from Glencairn's manner whether anger or kindness is to follow his present cool composure. Luli has nothing to say but one word, " Papa?" pleadingly uttered in a low quiv- ering voice ; but she draws closer to Duke Mayburne's side, and looks from him to her father with soft appealing eyes. VOL. I. K 242 GLENGAIEN. " You liad better go upstairs, Luli, and leave Duke with me." She has never disobeyed a command of Glencairn's in her life, and does not now. She is almost too agitated to speak ; she leaves the room slowly and with lingering steps, looking back from the door, with expressive entreaty at her father, with longing trust and anxious tenderness at her lover. It seems to her that the time she waits alone in her room is a week — a month — a year ! She tries to read, but the words convey no meaning to her brain. She sits silent, wait- ing, watching, till the ticking of the clock seems to whirr in her brain. Time has never seemed so long to her before as this period that goes by with creeping minutes and lag- ging seconds, each second ticking away with GLENCAIRN. 243 sucli maddening steadiness, so much slower than the beating of her heart, until at last a tap at her door makes her start, and a servant enters. " Mr. Glencairn wishes to see you in the parlour, Miss, if you please." '' Is Mr. Mayburne gone ?" Luli inquires, with an attempt at nonchalance, turning away her head lest the girl should remark her chano^inor colour and flutterino^ breath. " Yes, Miss," the servant replies, regard- ing Miss Glencairn with interest and fellow-feeling, and perfectly au fait with the position of affairs. Half fearing, half hoping, Luli descends the stairs, and slowly pushes open the parlour-door, whilst, although she is not aware of it, an animated discussion is go- ing on in the kitchen and in the drawing- r2 244 GLENCAIEN. room concerning her prospects ; for the series of interviews between her, her lover, and her father, have been noted with much interest, and correctly interpreted, both above and below stairs. " Come in, child," says Glencairn, quiet- ly and tenderly, but without looking up. He is sitting in his usual arm-chair, and near his feet there is a foot-stool, the same foot-stool on which Luli used to sit in her childish days when first her father came back to her. By one of those gentle womanly instincts that are generally safe to adopt as guides, she goes softly up to him and takes her place at his feet, as she has so often done since that long ago time. Glencairn lays his hand on her head and smoothes her hair for a moment before he speaks. GLENCAIRN. 245 " Diiko is what the world calls, and justly calls, a 'bad match,'" he begins abruptly. " You know that, Luli ?" "I know that he has not much money," she replies, collecting her energies for the ordeal, and feeling stronger and calmer now it has fairly commenced. "Money, in the sense of a settled in- come or a safe capital, he has none. He may succeed, and make money; he may fail and drag on in poverty all his life. You are very young, Luli. Can you not put this fancy away as a dream — let Duke go his way, and go yours — and find another lover some day whom you will like as well, and who can provide for you in comfort?" *' Can I put this fancy away as a dream ?" she repeated ; then answered, with a charac- 246 GLENCAIRN. teristic quiet constancy and steadiness, " No, papa, I cannot." " Recollect how uncertain his future is ! Are you in earnest in wishing to encourage, and allow to grow into the passion of a life, a girlish romance that, if it is stamped out now, will leave no serious mark be- hind?" " It cannot be stamped out now,'' she said, softly, but steadfastly still. " Are you so fond of him, then ?" he re- joined, slowly, half wistfully. " Tell me, child, is this a romance, or is it love? Think well." She raised her eyes to his bravely and freely now. " Papa," she cried, impetuously, earnest- ly, solemnly, as if taking a vow to heaven, *' I Ja love him ! You must know I do !" GLENCAIEN. 247 As Glencairn looked at her, lie saw her mother in her now more vividly than ever he had seen her before. He saw the light of love on Lull's face transform it into Laura's very own. Surely those eyes, so full of purity and innocence and passionate tenderness, were Laura's eyes ; that look of childlike guilelessness and womanly earnest- ness — with the new depth and intensity which proved the brook between " woman- hood and childhood fleet," was crossed and left behind for ever — was Laura's very look. He gazed at Luli, and seemed almost to forget what they had been saying, or that they had been speaking at all. " You are like your mother — the day we stood on the deck — and caught the first sight of the English cliffs." he said brokenly, dreamily, as if talking to himself. 248 GLENCAIRN. This mention of lier mother cast a solemn shadow over the girl's fair young face. She knew that he had loved her mother first, on the voyage from the Cape to Eng- land, and that in his reverie now he had drifted back on board that vessel again. She looked at him in hushed faith and love and sympathy ; and a sacred silence lasted long unbroken between the two. At last, smoothing her golden head again, Glencairn spoke. " Child, have I ever thwarted a wish of yours ?" " Never, darling, never !" " And I will not now," he said slowly. " But listen, Luli, I lay down certain con- ditions. No thought of marriage yet. No binding covenant of engagement yet. You may see each other as often as you like, GLENCAIRN. 249 for a few montlis, as a kind of test and trial time ; then, if you really both hold faithfully to each other, be openly engaged; and when he proves to me that he can support a wife, marry — and not till then. "Will that arrangement satisfy you ?" "It is all I could desire !" she answered, gladly and gratefully ; for in the early stage of a pure and imaginative girl's love, "love is enough," and the present is all. " Have you told him he may come ?" she asked shyly, caressingly laying her cheek on Glencairn's hand. " Yes ; I have told him exactly what I have told you — and a little more. I told him, in order to avoid all possible misinter- pretation, that you have no fortune — not a penny even of pocket-money or dowry but 250 GLENCAIRN. what I please to give. I liave lost money lately; and unless the luck changes, I may not be able to give you a brass farthing." " Duke will not care for that," she said, softly and trustfully. "Money is a necessity," replied Glen- cairn. " Men must care for it. But I think you are right, Luli, in believing that Duke is not mercenary, and that money, simply as money, holds a very subordinate part in his scheme of life. I like Duke Mayburne," he continued, reflectively, as if weighing his words. " I liked him from the first — from the day that he brought you the white pup — do you remember, child? He has talent, energy, a kind heart, a singu- larly handsome face " Glencairn paused in his enumeration of GLENCAIRN. 2ol this list of shining qualities, — whether be- cause he had arrived at the climax, or be- cause he was hesitating whether to add another quality or not, Liili was too happy and grateful to care. It was enough to lift her to the highest pinnacle of joy that her father spoke well of her lover. She cared no more to inquire on what he founded his good opinion than to analyse her own heart, and seek to discover why she had made this man its idol. He was not an unworthy idol, " taking him for all in all," although he did not possess the heroic qualities with which her transfiguring eyes invested him. Of course Duke makes his appearance the next morning, and Luli greets him in a beautiful rosy tremor of shy joy and tenderness. He has never seen her look 252 CtLencairn. so lovely before ; her beauty is perfected now, as a woman's beauty never is until tbe one true light of life sheds around it the halo of that first fresh glory which, once illuminated, will never wholly fade. They build fair castles in the air ; it is the season for golden dreams. How bright and high those cloud-castles tower up on the horizon ! how real they look in the distance, save only for the fact that no such perfect harmony and beauty was ever realised ! Duke is naturally, however, a shade less supremely blest and delighted than Luli with the arrangement laid down by her father. " I may trust you, dearest, may I not?" he says (as if he required assurance !). " You will not let yourself be tempted away from me ? You promise that you will be mine ?" GLENCATRN. 2o3 " Am I not yours now, Duke ? Shall I ever be yours more faithfully and truly than I am now ?" " You will be faithful, then ? Even if it should be for years ?" " All the years that I live I will be true to you !" "But I could not reproach you if you broke that vow," he says, half seriously, half jestingly. "Why not?" "Because you are a woman, darling," he replies, and smiles, and raises her hand to his lips and kisses it. " Don't be cynical," she says tenderly, and nestling trustfully to his side ; " that is a speech lago would have made !" " Well, wouldn't you rather that I should be lago than Othello ?" '254 GLENCAIEN. ^'- No r replies Lull emphatically, with a fire kindling in her soft eyes. " Othello's was the crime of love, and Desdemona was the first to forgive him and plead for him in Heaven, I know I" " If she was like you, she was an angel," observes Duke, not too relevantly ; but some degree of irrelevance is to be pardon- ed to a lover looking down into the depths of such eyes as Luli raises to his. So, eyes to eyes, and lips to lips, and heart to heart, they forget the future and the past — forget the possibilities that crouch in ambush beside the path of the happiest lovers, the names of the cruellest of whom are Fickleness and Jealousy, and the name of the mildest is Death. 255 CHAPTER XI. " A fair and gentle creature, meant For heart, and hearth, and home content." L. E. L. " Shadows that shroud the To-morrow, Glists from the life that's within ; Traces of pain and of sorrow, And may be a trace of sin." Joaquin Miller. npHE Winter has come, and has ruled over the land until the term of his sovereignty is almost gone. Already the forces of Spring are mustering, and the coming monarch is making ready to advance to the possession of the throne. But the grim old king will not yield with- out a struggle ; and he is too potent still 256 GLENCAIRN. for the buds, timid heralds of the invader^ to dare to peep; only the hardy little crocuses have courage to defy him, and declare in the teeth of his biting icy winds that Spring shall come, is coming. Still Winter's pale banner floats across the grey snow-laden sky ; still Winter's breath traces fanciful hieroglyphics of his decrees on the window-panes in figures of frosted crystal. In a room on the fourth floor of a Lon- don house, which bears a placard of " Apartments " in its parlour window, a girl is sitting curled up on the hearthrug. The rug is a shabby one, so threadbare that little of its original pattern is distinguish- able ; but its presence could ill be dispensed with — the room being so sparely carpeted with narrow strips of faded Kidderminster GLENCAIEN. 257 that the ancient hearthrug forms a valuable contribution to the furniture. This fourth- floor back in Summer is reputed to be a charming, airy apartment ; but in Winter the -wind delights to whistle playfully through the chinks of the window and door, and down the chimney and in at the keyhole of the cupboard. It is decidedly a cold room at this season, and Zora Brown's present occupation is poking sticks of firewood and bits of paper into the grate, to rekindle the handful of smoulder- ing coals. She does not commit the ex- travagance of a fire every day and all day long ; but this afternoon is very chilly, and she wants to coax the obstinate embers into a cheerful blaze, by which she will first prepare, and then partake of her soli- tary cup of tea. VOL. I. s 258 GLENCAIRN. Zora Brown, who was a child when Lull Glencairn met her at the birthday party, and wondered who and what she was, is a woman now — a pretty, graceful young woman, who picks up the sticks of charred firewood with dainty fingers, and who has all the nameless and indescribable refinements of a gently-bred lady in her air and attitude, and every turn of her hand and bend of her head, even now while engaged in the un- romantic task of lighting a fire. She has on a blue serge dress, which has seen so much wear that only much careful darning holds it together in some places ; and the muslin frills at her neck and wrists are not so fresh as they pro- bably were a day or two ago. Zora is neat and trim, and as careful of her meagre toilette as she can be ; but she is not one of GLENCAIKN. 259 tliose wlio hold tliat no ribbon at all is better than a faded ribbon. She likes things bright and new and fresh — when she can afford them ; but if she cannot get fresh ribbons, she regards a faded breast-knot as a very great deal better than none. Yet there is no suggestion of tawdry, faded finery about her ; rather, she has the gift of wearing her well-worn dress and faded ribbon and crumpled frills, so that, instead of their making her look shabby, she makes them look presentable. There is a sound of footsteps and a rustling of skirts upon the stairs, but as Zora does not expect any visitors, and the wood is just beginning to burn beautifully, she takes no notice, till somebody plays a tattoo on the door, and calls, " Zora !" " Come in. Who is there ?" s2 260 GLENCAIEN. Zora turns from her task with surprise and interest ; but she has not time to rise up from her humble position before Kate Craven bursts into the room with her habitual vivacity, albeit she appears pant- ing and breathless. " Zora, my dear child, how are you ? Oh, those stairs ! Good gracious ! what are you doing there? Oh, what a height to live at ! I am quite out of breath ! "Why don't you have a lift? Seven flights of stairs, I declare it is !" " Only four," observes Zora, smiling, and looking really pleased to see her visitor, as she returns Kate's osculatory greeting. *' Well now, my dear girl, what has be- come of you all this time ? I thought I would come and see you instead of writ- ing ; so here I am. Isn't it an age since GLENCAIKN. 261 ^e have met ? Why do you live up in this sky-parlour ? What are you doing now ?" says Kate, pouring forth remarks and ques- tions all in a breath. " I live here principally because it's eco- nomical," Zora replies. " If you will ex- cuse me, I will put another stick into this obstinate fire. Draw your chair close, so as to get all the little warmth there is. It has been in such a sulky temper I cannot make it burn." The two girls are a great contrast in appearance ; Kate Craven in her sweeping silk dress, her velvet hat and feather, her sealskin mantle with its deep fur trim- ming ; and Zora Brown in her poor little darned serge frock ; but Zora Brown be- trays no embarrassed consciousness ; and her manner to her guest, sweet and gentle 262 GLENCAIRN. as it is, is delightfully free from subservi- ency, and equally far from the awkward- ness of assuming and claiming an equality on which there is any doubt. Zora's man- ner never asserts the doctrine of " Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," but simply ^rove^ it — proves it by a softness, a delicacy, a refinement of look and accent of which no lady in the land need have been ashamed. " Well, and now tell me all about your- self, Zora," says Kate, when the sulky fire is beginning to smile, and Zora has risen and taken her seat beside her visitor. " As for my adventures," Kate continues, lounging back in her chair, " they are soon told. Two Winters in Paris — one in Brussels, — I wrote to you from Brussels, by-the-by. Every season in London all the season long. Lots of society ; lots of fun ; GLENCiURN. 263 lots of flirtatioD. I have grown an awful flirt, they tell me; but I don't believe it myself. Anyhow I find life a very jolly thing ! How do you find it ?" "Not so jolly as you do certainly," re- sponds Zora, with a rather pensive smile. " The world has not gone very well with me ; but I ought not to complain, for it might have done much worse." " Have you not got any money ? How do you make your living?" asks Kate, frankly inquisitive. " Just now I give a few lessons to little children, by which I provide myself with bread, and cold mutton, and occasional cups of tea." " Why don't you get a governess's place in a nice family ?" "It is easier said than done. First and 264 GLENCAIEN. foremost, I am not well-educated enough. I could take no place beyond giving wliat they call rudimentary instruction to little children." " Upon my word, I don't think I could even do that ! Teaching must be a horrid bore !" exclaims Kate. " Why don't you advertise for a companion's place ?" " I did. I tried that twice ; but " Zora hesitated thoughtfully, " it didn't do. And then I once gave some sittings to an artist; and that didn't do either." She coloured a little, and continued rather hur- riedly, " And oh ! Kate, my one good chance in life I lost ! I have not done regretting that yet ! I told you once, I think, that I was studying singing. "Well, I was to come out in an English operetta. It was only a beginning ; but it would have been GLEXOAIR^f. 265 a good beginning. And so 1 made my dehut ; and I sang for nearly a week ; and I was full of hope. And tlien I had inflam- mation of the lungs, and lost my voice ; and the doctor told me I must not sing even if I got my voice back. And I tried to sing again, and broke a bloodvessel and nearly killed myself. So you see my one good chance is gone." "Oh, poor child! that luas hard upon you!" observed Kate sympathetically. " But you'll get a better chance yet, Zora dear, in some other line. Singing isn't the only career in the world. And then very likely you'll marry ; you are sure to marry ; I wonder you haven't married yet !" " It does not do to trust to that chance," said Zora softly, but practically. " What languages can you speak ?" asked 266 GLENCAIEN. Kate, as if inspired by a sudden thought. " Only a little French." " Not Italian ?" "No; I wish I could! I am sure I should love Italian. I taught myself just enough to pronounce my Italian songs — but that is all." " Ah, not Italian ; that is a pity. I was thinking," said Kate slowly — " but no — ah ! well, I'm afraid not. "Well, now anyhow, Zora, we must see if we can't get you some recommendations or something. You must advertise again. I'm sure that's the right thing. And now, dear, I must go. Good- bye. No, no tea, thank you ; not a drop. And, Zora, you must come and see me, mind; we must not let each other drift again." Kate imprinted a hearty, kindly kiss on GLENCAIRN. 207" Zora's cheek, and departed, her silken skirts rustling down the staircase, and catching on an obtrusive nail, which drew an aggrieved exclamation of " Oh dear ! what a dreadful place !" from the wearer. Zora sits alone, gazmg into the red embers and letting her tea get cold, saying to herself with a sigh, " "What a contrast !" and with a smile, " I am glad to have seen her. It was good of her to come." On this afternoon too, beside another fire, another girl is sitting, not alone, and with no need to resort to the red coals for an object to gaze at and dream over. Liili Glencairn is leaning back in a low easy- chair, peaceful and graceful and happy, the pure daylight resting on one pale oval cheek and curving coil of fair hair, the red gleam of the firelight flickering on the 2 63 GLENOAIRN. other side of her face and touching the soft cheek nearest it with an unnaturally bright glow. She is slowly smoothing the fur of j a large tabby cat that lies 'curled into a cushion in her lap and purring lazily in its slumber. The girl and the cat look together like a picture of home happi- ness, each equally and supremely comfort- able and content, — except indeed that Luli, with those dreamy spiritual eyes of hers, can never look utterly absorbed in any purely sensuous pleasure of luxury and •ease; and even in her happiest moments, her soul, when her eyes glance upward, seems always to be looking beyond, away into a land of dreams. On the other side of the hearth sits Glencairn, in his usual characteristically careless lounging attitude; he scarcely GLENCAIEN. 2G9 looks above a year or two older than wlieu nearly a dozen years ago lie returned to his unknown little daughter ; his dark waves of hair are but slightly threaded with silver ; and his odd piercing sombre eyes are at peace. By the mantelpiece stands Duke Mayburne, carelessly picturesque as ever in his velvet coat and loose necktie, hand- some as ever, with his rich curling chestnut hair and beard, his splendid grey eyes well- set under the broad white brow, and his profile like that of the "Wounded Gladia- tor" — a resemblance Luli had discovered at her last visit to the Crystal Palace, and which, considering the discoverer was in love with Duke, was far less flattering to him and more accurately truthful than might have been expected. They have been discussing literature and '270 GLENCAIRN. the drama, Shakespeare in general, " Mac- beth" in particular; and from Macbeth and the Weird Sisters, Glencairn gives the conversation a fresh turn. " Macbeth simply acted out his destiny," he observes, positively. ^'He was irre- sponsible from the first. Only by an irony of Fate some deceptive glimpses of the future were shown to him. He could not turn aside from the path he was bound to tread ; only a will-o'-the-wisp was set danc- ing before him to throw false lights on the quagmire wherein he was fated to be swallowed up. Fate does play such pranks with us sometimes. I cannot see the good of them," he continued, meditatively. ■" They cannot help us to avoid an evil ; and, as a rule, the foreshadowing of the future is worse than useless." GLENCAIRN. 271 " Do you believe in supernatural mani- festations, then?" asked Duke. " There is nothing that to my mind is supernatural," Glencairn replied. "There are powers that know the future. Under certain circumstances, they can communi- cate their knowledge." " The premise that there are powers that know the future assumes that the future is pre-ordained, so that what they foresee is inevitable ?" " That is so," Glencairn said quietly ; " and in that consists the irony of some of those strange warnings which we seldom understand, and by which we cannot profit." " That is pure fatalism, is it not ?" asked Luli, thoughtfully. " Yes," he answered ; " we all must dree our weird." 272 GLENCATRN. " There are some prophecies," observed Duke, practically, "that do not need the doctrine of spiritual or unearthly know- ledge to account for them — forecasts that may with tolerable safety be ventured upon by reasonable calculation ; for coming events do sometimes * cast their shadows before * literally." " There are some such prophecies as you speak of," admitted Glencairn ; " and there are others that no reasonable calcu- lations can possibly explain. How would you account for a man's double walking before his death? — or for the Banshee's cry foretelling trouble ?" " Are such things well authenticated ?" inquired Duke. " Who can doubt the mass of testimony towards them? A friend of my own, a GLENCAIKX. 273 young Irish fellow of Kildare county, has heard the Banshee twice, and it was each time followed by a death. You have heard me speak of M'Gregor ? McGregor's father saw his wraith walk in the garden the day he was seized with his last illness. Do you not know that your favourite poet, Shelley, in the last month of his life, saw a cloaked figure, which disclosed his own face to him, and vanished ?" Duke looked somewhat incredulous, and remarked that " Shelley was a visionary and a dreamer." " But what is the use of these appari- tions ?" pondered Luli. " Unless it be to warn a fellow to make his will and prepare his last requests," suggested Duke. " In the case of a man burdened with the VOL. I. T 274 GLENOAIEN. secret of any crime, it might be well that he should know his last hour was near, that he might secure the peace of his soul beyond the grave," said Glencairn. "But I acknowledge such cases are rare. As a rule, there is in these forecasts no such clear motive as to warn a sinful man to free his soul from its secrets. I don't understand it — it is beyond me." " It is beyond us all," said Duke, respect- fully forbearing to attack Glencairn's evi- dently unconquerable superstition. " Such appearances, if they are clearty proven as occurring before the events they foreshadow," said Luli, reflectively, " seem to serve only one purpose — that of proving that things are predestined." " Which I think, for the good of the world in general, might as well be left un- proven," observed Duke. GLENCAIRN. 275 "Meaning tliat tlie doctrine of pre- destination is too strong meat for the souls of the million ?" said Glencairn. " Well, perhaps you are right there, Duke." " The million, you see," rejoined Duke, "would be too apt to stop at the comfort- ing theory that all the crimes they commit are predestined, and would not advance the next step to the perception that their punishments, in some world or another, are probably predestined too." " Hard on the million that !" observed Glencairn smiling ; " and pretty hard on us all. Hard on Judas Iscariot that his name should be a mark for obloquy for centuries on account of a crime which he had been for centuries destined to commit." Here the door opened ; " Miss Craven " was announced, and Kate, who had come t2 276 GLEN C 'HEN. on from her afternoon visit to Zora to dine and spend the evening with the Glencairns^ made her appearance. " My dear Katie, you are come just in time to rescue us from fathomless depths wherein we were getting lost," said Luli, as the two girls exchanged an affectionate greeting. "Depths of heterodoxy from which we will extricate ourselves forthwith," added Glencairn. "Ghosts, wraiths, and Banshees, Miss Craven," said Duke in a deep and sepulchral voice. " my gracious ! And in this twilight room !" cried Kate. " For goodness' sake light the gas !" BOOK TV. SAILING SUMMER SEAS. 279 CHAPTER XII. " Love well who will ; love wise who can ; But love ; be loved ; for God is Love. Let love be ripe in ruddy prime, Let hope beat bigh, let hearts be true ; And you be wise thereat ; and you Drink deep, and ask not any more !" JoAQum Miller. npHE Spring lias budded, bloomed, and faded, and Summer fruit is ripe. In tlie country, beyond the dust, and smoke, and heat of the great city, all is peace, and melody, and beauty now. Looking on the billowy sea of chimney-pots, the intermin- able Sahara of dry and dusty tiles, it makes one thirsty, as if for a cooling beverage in 280 GLENOAIEN. fever, to think liow, only a few miles off, " Over waving ways Of deep green grass the gusty winds did bring Soft subtle scents of sweet flowers blossoming With sound of wild birds singing face to face." But in London a general yearning for tlie country does not seem to prevail, for the fact that the season is at its height, and that London is full to overflowing, is brought before you prominently at every hour of the day and night. In the morn- ing and after the noon, the Row and the Ring are crowded, and the upper ten thousand, in sober broughams, in dashing barouches, in low victorias, in lofty four- in-hands, on " black horses and white, red horses and grey," parade themselves before the eyes of the million. The million lean over the railings, and gaze, and criticise, GLENCAIRN. 281 and envy, and admire, as the always hand- some horses, and the sometimes beautiful riders — for you get the best of equine oftener than the best of human beauty in this exhibition — pass by in the unending round. At night, walk through the West-end streets and squares ! Here, there, and there again, red cloth is laid across the pavement, striped awnings flutter in the evening breeze, and strains of music float out from the open windows. Here car- riages are setting down for a ball ; there taking up from a dinner-party ; here, there, and everywhere small audiences are con- gregated on the pavement to enjoy the entertainment provided gratuitously by the London wealthy for the London poor. Visions of beauty — visions of wealth — 282 GLENCAIEN. Worth's latest creations in dress— diamonds that are family heirlooms — flash by like shows in a magic lantern, under the eyes of the little street- Arab, the working-man and the working woman ; and so, to high and low, to the drone and the busy bee of the London world, the London season brings its excitement, its pleasure, its weariness of body and of soul. By this season of course Duke Mayburne and Luli Glencairn are openly acknow- ledged to be "engaged," though the acknowledgment has not been made suddenly or all at once ; indeed it would have puzzled both of these young people to have fixed the day on which their under- standing became a ratified engagement, although they had of course considered themselves betrothed, and had been mutu- GLENCAIRX. 2S3 ally pledged to eternal constancy from the day on wliicli Duke first spoke of his love to Luli. The publicity had come gradually ; people had "chaffed" them more and more, and they had avoided the chaff less and less, and confided in one friend after another ; and Glencairn had looked on tranquilly, and interposed no objection, but, according to one of his favourite theories, had "let things drift." So things had drifted, until this season Duke and Luli were openly affianced in the eyes of the world ; and although they had not yet fixed any time for their marriage, the}^ were full of hopes and dreams and schemes for their united life; and the cloud-castles towered higher, fairer, brighter than ever. Luli was as happy as the Summer days were long ; the sunshine of her smile lit up- :284 GLENCAIEN. all the household, and it was almost pathetic to see how her happiness was reflected in the look of smiling content on old Miss Priscilla's faded, time-worn face. Even stern Miss Christiana relented into tender- ness when Luli's blue, soft eyes, all spark- ling with joy, looked into hers as if sure of sympathy : and Mrs. Boyd smiled, although she could not forbear a simultaneous sigh, as Luli's glad voice carolled bird-like snatches of song while she went about the house, light of foot and light of heart. As for Glencairn, he was a man of but one love, one aim. His daughter made all the music, all the sunshine, all the holiday of his life. After all, in spite of the often and loudly asserted selfishness of human nature, it is chiefly in sympathy with the young, and in GLENCAIKX. 285 watching what seems the resurrection of their own 3'outh, that the old live again. It is by entering into the spirit of the life of youth that is in the full flush and flow of living, that they who have lived their lives exist. People, however, in this world, old or young, can seldom sympathise without volunteering advice as to the conducting of the circumstances which inspire their sympathy. Lessons innumerable concern- ins: the management of a husband and a household are offered gratuitously to the jo\mg fiancee. Golden maxims are shower- ed upon her ; minute and accurate plans of life are drawn up for her benefit. If Luli followed all, or even half, the advice that is given her by the elders of her own sex as to the "management" of Duke in the coming ■286 GLENCAIEN. days, the path would be more likely than not to conduct the young couple by no very circuitous route into the Divorce Court ! As regards the management of income and expenses, the advice, though each separate piece of it sounds sensible enough, when fitted together forms a sujffi- ciently puzzling whole. " Ah ! don't waste your money, my dear, on that ridiculous notion of honeymooning. Of all the rubbish, I think it is the ab- surdest convention for a young new-married couple to fly into exile as if they had done something wrong, and were banished from their native land ! When Jones and I were married, we went straight from the altar home to our little cottage at Hamp- stead. And do you do the same, my dear!" one matron would say. GLENCAIIiN. 287 " I hope you will take a good long liappy honeymoon trip, my dear. When you come back and begin housekeeping, ah ! then you'll find your troubles begin !" another would prophesy. " You will take a small house, of course ? I should advise you to look out Kensington way; and be careful not to allow more than a sixth of your income for rent. Statistics prove," &c. " Statistics " always was the beginning of a long and instructive lecture. '* You won't commit the extravagance of a house, of course ? A young couple can live so delightfully in genteel furnished apartments," would be the next adviser's beginning. " Really," observes Luli confidentially to Duke one day, ** I feel like a target for 288 GLENCAIEN. everybody to fire advice at ! Mrs. Groves lias been here to-day, and without making the slightest inquiry as to our plans and projects, proposed to go and negotiate for us for a suite of rooms on the seventh floor of the Langham Hotel. She said it would be so delightful for you to have a smoking and billiard-room on the premises. I had some difficulty in persuading her that her plan was rather premature, as we had not begun to form our own schemes yet." "I wonder why it is that people are always as ready with their advice when it's not wanted, as they are chary of their help when one has any need of it," pondered Duke. " Perhaps it is because it would be so delightful to their feelings to be able to say, ' That young couple owe all their GLENCAIEN. 289 happiness to my judicious counsel!'" sug- gested Luli. *' And on the other side, don't you think, Duke, it might be rather satisfactory for us to be able to say, in case of any failure, that the responsibility rests with our advisers ?" " I think I'd rather succeed or fail on my own hook," he said. "But / had rather, if anything went wrong, that you should find fault with any- body else than with me," she rejoined. " Find fault with you, my pet ! "What am I likely to have to find fault with my little darling about?" " That unpleasant discovery has yet to be made — and oh ! what an unpleasant dis- covery it will be !" she added with a very sincere sigh at the dolorous prospect. VOL. I. tr 290 GLENOAIEN. " Duke, I wonder if I ever could be angry witli you ?" " Don't let us try the experiment, dearest — in case you should find you could !" he answered, smiling, and fondly caressing her bright waving hair, that always got pictur- esquely ruffled during their interviews, and required considerable smoothing and combing after his departure before it could be made presentable. " One thing is satisfactory," observed Luli, as she lifted up his wrist for inspec- tion, " you wear studs ! So many buttons the less — so many chances of quarrel the less ! This is what I am informed, at least. Buttons and dinners ! — those are the two critical points." "You shan't be troubled much as to buttons, pet ; and as to dinners — well, I'll GLENCAIEN. 291 promise not to tlirow the disli-covers at yon, not indeed to throw anything larger than a salt-cellar. "Will that content you ?" " I don't see why there should be any need of even so harmless a missile as a salt-cellar," she responded cheerfully as a re-assuring reflection occurred to her. " I shall have plenty of time to study your tastes at table-d-hote dinners before we set up domestic meals — although to be sure foreign hotels will scarcely be a fair test, as you will have to control any inclination for showing dissatisfaction by flinging about the table furniture." ' ' Did I ever show you what a long bill they sent me in at Etretat for the decanters and dishes and goblets I had destroyed in my righteous anger at their confoundedly bad dinners ?" he inquired gravely. u2 292 GLENCAIEN. "And, whew ! Lull, do you know what o'clock it is ?" he added presently, holding out his watch. " Is it so late ?" she said with unaffected regret. " The time always flies so with us," he observed somewhat complainingly. " Never mind ! it will bring next Summer the soon- er, won't it, darling?" He smiled as he spoke of next Summer ; for it was then that they hoped, if things went well with Duke in a worldly sense, to try the dangerous experiment of domesticity, and then those " buttons and dinners " would become serious realities. '' Shall I see you to-morrow ?" asked Luli, looking down with the soft coy shy- ness that was the nearest approach to coquetry she knew. GLEXCAIKN. 293 " Not to-morrow, dear. I am so liard at work just now. I had to be up at five this morning to get that double-page sup- plement of the Guildhall reception off in time ; and I shall have to sit up half to- night, for there's the block waiting for Conrad and Medora without a line drawn on it yet !" '•On Wednesday then?" " Well, there's the Sociable Club dinner on Wednesday ! it wouldn't do for me to miss that, you know. But on Thursday at the garden-party we shall meet and have a jolly day. Look out for me at the station before starting. And make yourself look your prettiest, darling, for I want all my friends to envy me. I think they do that al- ready pretty well!" he added with a self-satis- fied air and a smile of proud proprietorship. 294 GLENCAIEN. Duke was one of the class of men who like their choice to be admired, who wish to see the seal of the world's approval set upon their taste, who, far from being jeal- ous of other men's appreciation of the charms of their beloved, would rather like than dislike to see the pathway of her con- quering car strown with victims — it being well understood that they must be hopeless victims, on whom she must not waste her tears, or even lavish her smiles. Luli was nothing of a coquette ; but she was woman enough to take a naive and simple pleasure in her beauty for his sake ; and he being as proud of her as he was fond, the admir- ation which her pure Saxon blonde loveli- ness attracted was equally gratifying to his vanity and his love. On the day of the garden-party accord- GLENCAIEN. 295 ingly, Lull was arrayed in her best and looking her loveliest, dressed all in white, as he liked her to be, floating, cloudy, filmy white, with touches of tender blue gleaming through the transparent gauze, and a graceful head-dress that professed to be a bonnet — consisting of two white fea- thers, a bunch of forget-me-nots and a tulle streamer, — nestling among the fair braided masses of her hair. The meeting-place appointed for all the London guests is the railway-station, where a special set of saloon carriages are attached to the tail of an ordinary train for their benefit, to bear them in sociable comfort to their destination. The guests are mustering accordingly. From City and suburb, from the aristocratic west, from the modest north and south, and from 296 GLENCAIEN. the despised east — "the cry is still they come." The party is a mixed one ; it has become an annual affair — one of the yearly off- spring of an alliance between Art and Commerce. The host and the large circle of his old friends and colleagues represent commerce; the hostess and the larger circle of their later friends represent art. Oil and grocery made the money ; art helps to spend it. Trade made the master of Holmswood Hall ; and now the master of Holmswood Hall helps art to thrive ; and into the treasury of art, gold pours from the coffers which trade filled. Many a young artist will look back gratefully to the hand, a hard-working, honest, kindly hand, that signed his first cheque, and proved truly a helping hand to steady him up the GLENCMRN. 297 first step of the ladder. Many a great painter's chef-d'oeuvre, and many a pro- mising Tvork of rising genius, adorn the walls of the handsome country-house — (a "Mansion suitable for the Occupation of a Nobleman or Gentleman " had been the terms set forth in the advertisement which tempted its present tenant to negotiation) — whither now the special train, unless goods-vans or coal-trucks should come into collision with it on the way, will whirl the attendant guests. So here are the party assembling in battalions on the platform and in the waiting-room. Here are the artists, and the artists' wives and daughters, some dressed in the fashion, some out of it, not so slightly out of it as to be despised, but so daringly out of it as to be admired, some 298 GLENCAIRN. attired simply and gravely as nuns, others in ricli and rare and perfect harmo- nies of colour that are a rest to the eye to look upon. And here is dear Mrs. Craven in a vivid emerald silk, with a bird of para- dise in her bonnet ; and next her the wife of a millionaire in a crude scarlet satin that would set one's teeth on edge to look at it if she had not in charity veiled a great portion of it in falls of heavy black lace. This costume is crowned by a miraculous erection of white blonde and white flowers, concerning which Duke whispers to Luli, " If I look at her any longer, I shall be compelled to snatch it off! so take me away on to the platform, out of the way of temptation." Luli is too glad of the opportunity of getting out of the crowded group in the GLENCAIRN. 299" waiting-room, and pacing up and down the platform with her beloved. On the plat- form other members of the party are wandering about in twos and threes,, awaiting the departure of their train, with a languor that contrasts with the alertness and the bustle of the travellers proper who are bound for the Continent by another train just about to start. Porters dash briskly along with trucks of luggage, their movements seeming expressly designed to amputate the toes of the unwary. The garden-party people mostly undulate quietly in their tranquil promenade to let these instruments of danger pass ; but some of them get absorbed in conversation and have to steer clear at the last moment with a start and a jump, and — if masculine — a growl. The travellers proper rusli ^00 GLENCAIKN. frantically about and are perpetually trying to cross the path of the porters and having to dodge and turn and retreat. The garden-party people look half enviously at the travellers who are bound from sultry London for the cooling balm of the sea- breezes and the fresh delight of the sea- waves. Those big portmanteaux with the many defaced labels, those travelling- valises tied up with a bundle of rugs and um- brellas and Alpenstocks, are tantalizing to look upon ; they rouse a burning thrill of the migratory fever that begins to stir in all London veins as the season waxes to its height. The travellers in their turn regard the garden-party, some with envy, and some with lofty pity. The garden-party are not going abroad ; true — but then they have GLENCAIRX. 301 no luggage to look after, and no Channel crossing before tliem. And then, too, while the female travellers proper are clad in suits of dust-coloured home-spuns and sober checks and modest browns and greys, the ladies of the garden fete look so fresh and radiant in their snowy muslins and rainbow-tinted silks ! "Now, Duke," begins Luli, eagerly, as they emerge on to the platform, " I have something very particular to say to you." " All right, dear ; I'm all attention. Is it to propose that we should elope ? Is that heap of luggage yours ? — and am I to take the tickets ?" " Not yet, please ; but it is something that does concern tickets and luggage. You remember last year there was a talk of our joining the Cravens in a trip to some warm climate for the Winter ?" 502 GLENCATRN. " Well, I don't remember ; but I dare say there was." "Yes, there was ; and this year the plan lias been revived. Mr. and Mrs. Craven came round yesterday to talk about it. You see, there will be a capital opportunity this season," she pursues, narratively and eagerly, " because they know a gentleman who has a villa on the Lake of Como, and he wants to let it furnished in September. So we might spend the Autumn there, take it for three months, you know, and then at Christmas move on down to Rome and Naples, and return in the Spring. They brought us a photograph of the villa, and the gentleman's letter about terms, and all that ; and, in fact, papa and Mr. Craven very nearly arranged it all yesterday. I have been longing to see you and tell you all about it." GLENCAIRN. 303 " Thinking it would be a clieerful piece of news for me ? But I do not see tlie delioflit of ' ocean wide between us rollinsc ' for a whole long Winter. However, if you are pleased 1 daresay you'll enjoy yourself very mucli." " I shall, I hope," she answers, brightly, drawing near to him confidentially, as if more of the plan remained to be unfolded. " By'r leave !" yells a passing porter, trundlino^ a truck over the hem of her dress. " Come out of the way of these fellows," says Duke, leading her to a seat by a book- stall. Just as she has settled herself and her flowing folds of snowy drapery on tlie bench, a stout lad}', with two bandboxes, a basket, and a bag, advances, and sinks breathlessly into the vacant seat next Luli, 304 GLENCAIEN. wliicli Duke was about to occupy. The lovers exchange comically piteous looks, as it is manifestly impossible to continue a confidential conversation across the portly person of the intervening stranger, to say nothing of the piled-up barrier of small baggage on her lap. " Holloa, Mayburne ! you here too ?" says a tall man, with long blonde hair and an eye-glass, who is sauntering by. "Most of the clan are here, I think," responds Duke, as the pair shake hands. Then, perceiving Luli, Mr. Lof tus bows low, removing his grey felt wide-awake with a graceful sweep ; and when, in the course of a few minutes, the stout lady, with an exclamation of " Porter ! porter ! guard !" leaps up from her seat, and, clutching her bandboxes and bags, makes a wild rush at GLENCAIKN. 305 a passing official, Mr. Loftus calmly slips into her place, and begins to converse with Luli in a deferentially admiring tone. Presently a bell rings, and the Holms- wood party are summoned to take their seats. Duke and Luli have no need to manoeuvre much to get into the same carriage ; they are manoeuvred for, and a good deal of trouble in that line is taken off their shoulders, as the world is general- ly kind to engaged couples — too kind sometimes, as lovers of laconic and re- served, and ladies of shy and retiring, natures feel when they perceive the eyes of a friendly and sympathetic world watch- ing for evidences of their mutual devotion. However, to be in the same saloon- carriage is not necessarily to have opportu- nities of private conversation. The corner VOL. I. X 306 GLENOAIEN. where Duke and Luli have found seats is shared by Mr. Lof tus, also by a third artist, and a lady who, being evidently minded to make herself agreeable to the three gentle- men, and having ascertained to which of the two professions represented in the party they belong — she being herself presumably of the other branch — asks each in turn how many pictures they have in the Academy this year ? As two of them have had their pictures rejected, and the third has a grievance against the Academy and does not send, this opening is less successful than it deserved to be. The saloon carriages afford their occu- pants the priceless privilege of being able to move about and change places accord- ingly as their inclinations tend. Thus long before they reach their destination, the GLENCAIRX. 307 party have followed the natural law of affinity. The two elements have separated ; Art lias its group, and Commerce its group, and each division is absorbed in that most tempting of mortal occupations — talking shop. At the station, where carriages are in waiting to conve}'' them to Holmswood, and where a row of heads, projecting from the windows of the ordinary portion of the train, manifest the interest the travellers proper take in seeing the garden-party alight, the elements get shaken up together again ; but in the beautiful park-like grounds around Holmswood Hall, once more the kindred spirits seek each other out. And there Duke and Luli, for the first time, find themselves able to renew their tete-a-iete. X 2 308 GLENCAIEN. " I tlaouglit I never should be able to get a word with you," exclaimed Luli half laughingly, half plaintively. " Talk of ' oceans wide !' I am sure we have been as effectually separated to-day so far. Well, now, Duke, I was telling you about the plan of wintering in Italy, wasn't I ?" "Yes, and you were dwelling on the scheme with unflattering delight." " But, Duke, you would come too ? Of course you would ; think how delightful it would be ! The villa contains ample accommodation, they say ; you would come and stay with us there on a nice long visit, as long you possibly could. Why should you not ? I should not care a bit for it if you didn't go. I would not go without you." " Well, but I don't see how it's to be GLENCATRN. 309 managed," he responded slowly and doubt- fully, yet evidently liking the idea. " I am afraid I cannot leave London for long:. To be sure I had made up my mind to take my holiday rather late, as I knew you would be going away somewhere. But — Italy is a long way! And, Luli, if I squander my substance on pleasure travel- ling, how are we to set up house-keeping when the time comes ?" " Oh, take your railway fare out of the kitchen furniture, and cut the drawing- room short for your hotel bills !" she pleaded coaxingly with a light happy laugh. " TVe must consult one of your numerous counsellors as to what articles of furniture may be most easily dispensed with," he said. "I'll think over your plan, Luli; but I'm 3 10 GLENCAIEN. not sure about being able to manage it." " We have to write and fix about taking the villa this week," she replied, ''so do make up your mind quickly, that's a dear boy !" The gardens of Holmswood are like one huge flower-bed, bright and variegated with living and moving flowers. The long smooth slopes and level lawns of green velvet turf are so covered with the ladies' bright light trailing dresses that but little of the green ground is visible. Be- tween the branches of the trees, through the shrubberies, behind the bushes, those bright colours gleam and glance. The men in their black coats are not in reality few, but they are so swallowed up and eclipsed in the radiance and amplitude of the ladies' attire, that they seem like a scanty swarm GLENCAIRN. 311 of black insects buzzing in and out among these various '* roses and lilies and daffy- down dillies." The fair sex do preponde- rate, of course ; was there ever an English party where they did not ? The luncheon summons all, black-coated bees and rainbow-coloured flowers, to a gorgeous dejetine?' laid out in a scarlet and white striped tent. To most of the seniors this appears the real work of the day ; to most of the juniors the real business only commences afterwards, when the whole party are set free to wander about the grounds at their own sweet wills. It is then that the bees and the flowers pair off as neatly and naturally as the beasts in Noah's Ark. The secluded parts of the shrubberies are full of stragglers in couples; there is a young couple in each of the 312 GLENCAIEN. summer-liouses ; a young couple in each of the little boats on the lake ; the pine-wood is full of errant pairs who get lost and seem in no hurry to find themselves. Duke and Luli make a conspicuous failure in their duty as engaged lovers. Luli calls down the criticism of Mrs. Grundy on her own unconscious head by walking with Mr. Loftus and dancing with him the first quadrille on the lawn. They are talking of Duke's talent and Duke's prospects for a great part of the time ; but this Mrs. Grundy does not know. Duke steals away to the smoking-room with a few congenial souls — the art editor of a rising illustrated periodical, an artist who has made his name, two others whose names are in process of making, and an art- critic who has done his best to assist the GLEXCAIRX. 313 process in one case, and to put a sum- mary stop to it in the other. The lion lies down with the lamb, however; and the whole group amicably bury themselves in smoke and congenial conversation in the hazy and Havana-scented shades of the smoking- room, whence it takes all the energies of the hostess to disinter them at the hour when dancing begins, and every man is expected to do his duty. Glencairn is discovered placidly seated under a tree on the summit of a gentle elevation, with a good view of the grounds, smoking and surveying the scene. " Marius among the ruins of Carthage !" exclaims Kate Craven, coming upon him suddenly with her attendant cavalier. " How long have you been up here ?" " Only about an hour, I think." 314 GLENCAIEN. " Well, if this is your way of enjoying society, we won't disturb your felicity !" And Kate and her escort pass on. Glencairn presently descends and mixes in the festive throng ; joins in the mascu- line group of which his future son-in-law forms a part, for a time, and then gets up what Kate announces to Luli to be " quite a flirtation " with a lady who suits his taste, who has large thoughtful eyes, and a sym- pathetic presence, who listens well and does not say much. Glencairn, whe7i he talks — which by the way is not often — likes a good listener. In the evening the gardens are lit up, and supper is laid in the tent in ample time for the guests to partake thereof before the carriages are ordered to convey them back to the station. The supper is GLENCAIRN. 315 a merrier and a noisier meal than the di'jeu7iej\ There never was much starch and stiffness about the party, but what Httle there was is worn off their manners and customs now, as thoroughly as it is worn out of the dresses tliat rustled so freshly and crisply this morning, and hang so limply this evening. The girls are all flushed with dancing ; their eyes are bright, their curled or braided locks are straying in truant tresses from under their bonnets and over their temples; and several of them would be horrified if they could look in the mirror and see how the wliirl of the waltz had tilted their headgear out of place. The champagne is flowing free as the illuminated fountains that are playing out- side in the gleam of red green and panto- mime fires. Above all, the popping of S16 GLENCAIRN. cliampagne and seltzer corks, tlie snapping of crackers, tlie clatter of spoons and forks, rise the merry voices and the laughter as the fun grows fast and furious. *' I haven't seen much of you to-day, Duke. What have you been doing with yourself?" inquires Luli, bestowing her entire attention on him, to the utter neglect of the lobster-mayonnaise which an attentive friend on the other side has heaped upon her plate. "I've been doing good work, my pet," replies Duke, deeming it quite safe to be affectionate under cover of the clatter and the chatter going on all round. " I have been cultivating the friendship of a gentle- man on whose will and pleasure a good deal depends. You behold him over there," — nodding towards the end of the GLKNCAIRN. 317 table, where the critic and the editor are alHed in a joint attempt to break into the citadel of an obdurate raised pie, whose walls of granite refuse to yield even to the combined attack. " Yes," continues Duke, " I think I have done a good stroke of business to-day ; and if you go to Italy, I'll join the party !" " That's jolly !" exclaims Kate Craven, overhearing these words from the opposite side of the table, where she is seated, and putting her head on one side to catch a glimpse of Duke and Luli between a barley- sugar temple and an epergne of flowers that intervene. " I'm so glad you'll join us ! "Won't we have fine times ! Mr. Glencairn ! Mr. Glencairn ! please come out of that brown study and fill my glass. Now, this is to drink to the happy re-union of the 318 GLENCAIEN. most attractive members of the present party on tlie sunny shores of Lake Como !" " Whom does that toast include, Miss Craven?" inquires Duke, through the trellis-work of the barley-sugar temple. " Not you, of course," retorts Kate. "/ am out of it, I'm afraid, Katie?" suggests Glencairn. " No, indeed you are not — we couldn't do without yoM," she replied, with frank friendliness, and added more demurely, with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes — " A skeleton at the feast is absolutely necessary to our contentment, and you make such a first-rate Bones !" Glencairn laughed aloud, and his some- what grim expression vanished in a broad, amused smile. Audacity never displeased him, and he liked " little Kate," who, GLENC.UEN. 319 having been half frightened at her own impudence, looked sideways at him, and then chorussed his laugh merrily, and well- satisfied. " We cannot reach across the table to clink glasses," observed Luli, smiling under the drooping ferns and flowers of the tall epergne, "so it must be a case of 'Drink to me only with thine eyes !' I echo your toast, Kate — to our happy re-union on the Lake of Como !" The champagne creamed and frothed in the glasses, " With beaded bubbles winking at the brim." Snap went the crackers ; clatter went the forks ; Kate's clear laughter rang loud, and Lull's softer merriment echoed low, as they drank their toast and read their mottoes to each other across the table, and joined en- 320 GLENOAIEN. thusiastically with Duke and Glencairn in various schemes for making the most of the delights of a Winter season in Italy. So the plan became a settled thing, and from that hour there was no more doubt or discussion as to Duke's joining the party. It was certain that he would man- age to do so for at least a portion of the time. We seldom know when we take the most important step of our lives. Sometimes, it is true, we know or feel that we are on the threshold of a supreme crisis that will turn to our life's joy or our life's anguish ; but of tener it happens that the act that looked a promise or a threat leads to nothing, while the little seed we trod carelessly down in passing shoots up a giant ladder. It is curious to look back to the moment GLENCAIRN. 321 when we stood at the turuing-poiut of our lives, and think how utterly unconscious of that fact we were. The cross-roads lay before us ; and all our future rested in the balance of whether we turned to the right or to the left. And we, so unconscious of the import of our act, set foot carelessly on the path that led us to the goal — not knowing. How little we know ! how impenetrably the heavy mist of the future veils from us the outcome of the step we take till the turn has been irrevocably taken and the cross-roads left behind ! How little you thought, you whose career in life has been so bright and prosperous, on that day near two score years ago when you, — then young and struggling at the very foot of the ladder of Fame, — stood deliberating "to VOL. I. Y 322 GLENCAIEN. go or not to go.,?" concerning that visit to a country house which you deemed would be "slow" and "a bore," that the friend and patron who was to help you to all your success in life was waiting there ! And you, traveller of many lands, how little you knew, as you muttered anathemas on your tardy cabman while you gazed on the distant vanishing smoke of the train you had missed, — the train which was to have whirled you at express speed to the sea-port whence your vessel sailed that day, — that the cross-roads at which you stood were those of life and death ! That vessel sailed, and was never heard of more. You too, fair-haired and sad-eyed woman, with the silver streaks in that still bright and abundant hair, you at whom strangers gaze and say, " That woman has a history !" how little did you think that GLENCAIRN. 323 night — when you were dancing, a gay and happy girl, at a party that seemed to you precisely like all other parties of the season, and in the intervals of the dance glanced round the crowded room indifferently, and said languidly, " AVho is that odd-looking man over there? somebody new?" — that your pale sad face should bear witness in a life-long memory of him ? Yet the die was cast in the moment you turned your girlish, innocent, unclouded eyes on him, though you knew it not then, nor for many a day thereafter. Looking back, we see these things, and realise with a thoughtfulness, " JNIixed with sad wonder, in our heart," the import of the steps we took, not knowing ! END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.